Economic Development & Tourism plan and budget
This service supports a diverse and resilient economy that helps grow local businesses, start-ups, and entrepreneurs; attracts new businesses and visitors to Calgary; and offers Calgarians and visitors access to world-class cultural attractions, venues, experiences and learning opportunities. The City delivers this service by investing in Civic Partners and supporting Business Improvement Areas’ (BIA) operations and governance. The service’s priorities and activities are guided by Calgary in the New Economy: An economic strategy for Calgary, and contribute to the collaborative implementation key City strategies related to economic development.
- visitors to Calgary
- business startup founders
- convention planners and delegates
The service collaborates with the following City services:
- Arts and Culture
- Building Approvals
- Business Licensing
- City Planning and Policy
- Development Approvals
- Land Development and Sales
Value to Calgarians
- enhances Calgary as a business-friendly city that supports local entrepreneurs and innovators
- offers enhanced local shopping areas
- attracts companies and business travelers
- provides high-quality, accessible opportunities to experience
What we deliver
- Leading economic development initiatives to attract and retain companies.
- Leading branding and trade missions.
- Offering convention centre services.
- Supporting local businesses, entrepreneurs and innovators.
- Leading regional, national and international tourism marketing.
- Providing access to world class cultural attractions and venues.
service plan budget
|Economic Development & Tourism|
Expected 2026 performance.
Direct jobs created/retained/expanded
2021 was 10.4K
Economic impact of TELUS Convention Centre delegates
2021 was 1.5M
# of startups that transition to five employees or more in a year
2021 was 79
Cultural attraction attendance
2021 was 1.4M
Leveraged ratio of funds contributed by partners to support program and service delivery
2021 was 2
What we've heard
Research results consistently demonstrate that addressing economic issues is a priority for Calgarians including the need to attract new businesses, diversify, create jobs, revitalize downtown, and support existing businesses.
Eighty-seven per cent of Calgarians rate this service as important, and 84 per cent report they are satisfied with this service. Calgary Economic Development research indicates that 96 per cent of Calgarians think it is important to have an economic strategy, and 82 per cent agree that the current vision aligns with where Calgary should be going.
Adjustments to Calgary in the New Economy aim to reflect equity, diversity and inclusion in economic development including engaging with under-represented groups. Calgarians rank quality, sustainability and resiliency of this service as the key dimensions, a shift from 2018 when resiliency was ranked last.Participate and view results of City research
What we're watching
- Results will be significantly impacted by the rate of post-pandemic recovery for local economic indicators; tourism results including visitor numbers and hotel room night stays; conference bookings and convention delegate numbers; access to capital for start-ups and businesses; consumer spending rates; and in-person attendance rates at cultural attractions, events, and cultural venues.
- A slow rate of recovery creates risk for The City and partners related to partners' ability to generate earned revenues to leverage City funding.
- It is anticipated that online and hybrid delivery methods will continue to increase access and create opportunities to reach new participants.
- Civic Partners track and monitor sector-specific trends to inform their long-range planning including trends in economic development (including film industries) and tourism, and those related to experiences in arts and culture, science, animal conservation, history and heritage, and aviation.
What we plan to do
We will focus on supporting the capacity of Civic Partners and Business Improvement Areas to deliver a broad range of economic development and tourism strategies, programs, and services that strengthens the economic resilience of individual Calgarians and the local economy including businesses.
How we're going to get there
- Support the promotion and sustainability of the local economy and placemaking by supporting the governance and operation of Calgary's Business Improvement Areas.
- Provide access to vibrant and high-quality cultural attractions for Calgarians and visitors by strategically investing in the lifecycle maintenance of City-owned assets managed and operated by Civic Partners including the Calgary Zoo, Fort Calgary, Heritage Park, TELUS Spark, Arts Commons and the Hangar Flight Museum.
- Support the delivery of economic development and tourism services, including implementation of Calgary in the New Economy: An economic strategy for Calgary, by collaborating, investing in, and supporting the governance and operations of Civic Partners.
- Provide access to arts and cultural opportunities for Calgarians and visitors that support a vibrant downtown by investing and supporting the Arts Commons Transformation Project.
- Support the promotion of Calgary as a destination for business travel, and large-scale meetings and conventions by investing and supporting the BMO Expansion Project.