Tourism generates millions for City in taxes, according to report

Tourism in Red Deer has generated $7.5 million in taxes in recent years to the local government according to a newly released report.

Tourism Red Deer announced the results of their Economic Impact of Tourism to Red Deer at a press conference held yesterday afternoon. The numbers used in the report are from 2008.

“We’re glad we did the study as it demonstrates to all levels of government that tourism is important economic generator for the region,” said Liz Taylor, executive director of Tourism Red Deer. “It gives us information about who is coming to Red Deer. We look for trends, we look for changes and it let’s us more clearly articulate who predominately we’re talking to and it allows us to focus our message so it’s more relevant. It gives us a benchmark for future work.”

In 2008, Red Deer saw almost two million visitors. The total person visits of non-Albertans exceeded 185,160 visits in the same year. The total gross expenditures of tourists in 2008 (residents and non-residents) exceeded $257 million in the region. This includes accommodation, food, beverage, gas and retail purchases.

All levels of government benefited from the tourist expenditures’ impacts on the region. The total revenues of the three levels of government on the provincial impacts of these expenditures added up to $92 million in taxes which was split up between the federal, provincial and local governments. About $7.5 million of that went directly to the City of Red Deer in 2008.

The study also determined that 90% of the visitors to Red Deer that same year lived in Alberta and 23% of tourists to the City were between the ages of 45-54 years. The second largest group (20%) was aged 25-34. Between 77-86% of tourists to the City were traveling without children and 41% were coming to Red Deer for pleasure while 39% were visiting family.

“It’s important that we continue to do these studies so we are better able to market Red Deer as a destination,” said Taylor. “It’s a very valuable tool for our organization.”