Visitor Friendly Alberta Program

The Visitor Friendly Alberta program provides support to communities interested in creating positive impressions and experiences for visitors, fulfilling visitor needs and bringing increased tourism dollars into their communities.

What does a tourist see and experience when they come to your community?

  • A clean and visually attractive place?
  • Clear signs that point out attractions and help them find their way around?
  • Are people polite? Do they provide accurate information about your community?
  • Are there public washrooms, rest areas, grocery stores and banks close by?
  • Is visitor information readily available?

Looking at your community through a visitor's eyes is one of the steps the new Visitor Friendly Alberta: A guide to welcoming tourists to your community recommends when it comes to assessing and improving your community's visitor friendliness.

A visitor friendly community creates memorable experiences for visitors and makes positive, lasting impressions. Visitor friendliness generates word-of-mouth advertising, attracts new visitors to the area, and encourages return visits.

The self-directed guide helps communities assess and improve in five categories that contribute to ensuring communities are successful, sustainable tourist destinations:

  • Overall ambiance / visual appeal
  • Wayfinding and signage
  • Quality of service and professionalism
  • Public services and visitor amenities
  • Visitor information

Though primarily aimed at small communities, the same principles and approach can be applied to specific areas within larger communities, such as tourist districts or downtown.

Communities can use this guide to assess their visitor friendliness and develop an action plan to address areas needing improvement in one of two ways:

  1. Planning guide option: The community conducts the process themselves using a self-directed planning guide. Click here to access Visitor Friendly Alberta: A guide to welcoming tourists to your community.
  2. Facilitation option: The community works with a third party facilitator to undertake the process. The cost is shared by the community and Alberta Tourism, Parks and Recreation. Click here for more information.

For more information, please contact the Destination Competitiveness Branch at (780) 427-6544 (toll free in Alberta, dial
310-0000, then the number) or visitorfriendly@gov.ab.ca.

Last reviewed/revised: December 9, 2013