The Ministry of Tourism, Parks, and Recreation, which was created in the year 2008 is charged with the mandate of making the region the most preferred tourist destination and ensuring sustainable development of tourism. The ministry is in charge of the dynamic and demanding tourism sector where it deals with issues of conservation and protection of natural resources in addition to the development and maintenance of the region as a leading tourist destination zone. It also supervises an arrangement of provincial parks and protected areas to conserve critical ecological areas and present opportunities to discover and benefit from the region’s natural heritage. Through its facilities, it provides and promotes an active and healthy lifestyle for the people. The Ministry of Tourism has different facilities for sport’s, recreation and training which also help promote athletic excellence The Ministry has put a number of programs, which aim to assist both local and international visitors and investors in the tourism industry. The Ministry has been helpful in the development of tourism in the province by offering programs and services that help meet their needs.
The Ministry is in charge of tourism in Alberta, which has experienced rapid development in the last few years due to the high volume of visitors. The industry made about $ 5.3 billion in the year. This makes the sector lucrative where investors can venture. The Ministry helps tourists get accommodation and entertainment facilities. The Ministry manages the about 500 parks in Alberta. The Ministry has either complete or partial in their management. The Ministry is involved in the management of recreational and sports facilities, which it uses to encourage a healthy living for people in the province. The Ministry provides the resources needed for the facilities such as coaches, athletes and officials to run them (Alberta & Recreation, Parks and Wildlife Foundation, 1992). The Ministry also supports different organizations that perform the same work it does such as Alberta sport, recreation, parks and wildlife foundation.
The ministry has put up a number of policies intends to implement, which will help meet its objectives. The programs aim to revitalize all tourism facilities and sites, offer the required technical and services qualifications and implement quality standards within the ministry’s decision and regulations. The ministry also aims to initiate support programs that will help improve the competitiveness of micro, small and medium-sized tourism sector enterprises. The program include the rehabilitation and improvement of tourist sites, laying down the categorization and prices of tourist facilities, executing the travel advice program by through our website, preparing and projects on public and private properties and Applying the consumer protection law.
To make the region an excellent tourist destination and global leader in sustainable tourism with energetic and fit people who value their natural heritage.
To facilitate and generate a state that will allow sustainable tourism and a vibrant and successful tourism sector in the region; manage the provincial parks system to benefit the people of the region currently and the generations of the future, and promote better standards of living through the use of sports and recreation.
Clients, Partners and Stakeholders
The ministry of tourism has worked together with other ministries to create, maintain and harmonize a number of programs and services. The ministry has a number of divisions, which facilitate the collaboration and partnership with other entities and stakeholders to help realize its objectives. The ministry of tourism collaborates with the stakeholders mainly to advance the lives of the people. The clients, partners and stakeholders are an important part of the ministry as they help develop and support the attainment of its objectives, which ensures that this is an improved region to visit or better live in. The Ministry works with the partners and stakeholders to establish and manage objectives that ensure a strong and stable future for the region. The Ministry is dedicated to having and ensuring it is in a relationship of trust with its partners and stakeholders to help have collaborative results. The Ministry has a number of clients, partners and stakeholders that include:
- The local people and international visitors to the region who are its major clients
- The municipal, provincial, national and international governments
- Different educational institutions in the province such as a Universities, colleges
- The business community in the region and foreign investors
- The minister’s advisory committees
- Participants in the tourism industry
- Other government ministries and departments working and found in the province
- Associations involved in sports, recreation and physical activity
- Volunteers dealing with similar matters and with similar objectives
Despite the present hindrances, more so in the nature and extent of funding, the ministry has a number of goals it aims to achieve. The main aim of the Ministry of tourism is to develop and sustain the demand for the province’s tourist services through aggressive marketing guided by the slogan “Travel Alberta” In addition; the Ministry of Tourism aims to advance the engagement in recreation and physical activities by the people of the province. It aims to promote and show the importance of people having and leading a healthy life style by using the 2010 Olympics. However, there are a number of hindrances, which the ministry will have to achieve in order for it to achieve its goals.
The ministry aims to achieve the goals set by the government of Alberta in its strategic plans. The ministry aims to work with different players in the tourism industry to market Alberta as an appropriate tourism destination to increase the number of visits and expenditures by tourists. The ministry aims to ensure that tourism continues to be the leading economic sector in the province by increasing and developing new tourism experiences, products and destinations.
Significant Opportunities and Challenges
Currently, ministry is going through a number of challenges that are limiting the efforts to achieve its objectives. The largest cause of the challenges has been the economic downturn that has hit the global economy. It has led to the rise in the rate and level of unemployment and created job insecurity. This has made tourism and travel a less critical requirement for people in Alberta and the rest of the world. Another challenge the ministry is facing is the rapid change in the population structure on the people in Albertan. There has been an increase in the number of number of old people in Albertan. This ensures calls for the frequent change in products and marketing approaches used by the ministry to replicate the character of the population. Similarly, there has been change in the demand for parks and facilities. This calls for the construction of bigger and more appropriate facilities by the ministry.
Another challenge the ministry is facing is the presence of old facilities. The company has its 75% of its facilities been more than 25 years old. The old facilities lead to the increase in the level of maintenance and repair costs experienced in the ministry. The perpetual increase in population size has also lead to the over congestion and overuse of existing facilities. Research has shown that 90% of Canadian children and youth do meet the physical activity guideline given in Canada’s Physical Activity Guides for Children and Youth. The failure to engage in physical activity has led to a decrease for facilities put up by the ministry for sports and recreation, which reduces the ability of the ministry to attain its objectives. The last major challenge the ministry faces in the achievement of its goals is the lack of volunteers to help in the running of its programs. Volunteers such as coaches and organizers expressly influence the extent of use of sports and recreation facilities. The lack of volunteers has led to the decline in the usage of the ministries facilities resulting to low revenues.
Although the ministry has a number of challenges, it also has a number of opportunities that will enhance its effort to accomplish its objectives. The ministry intends to collaborate with its partners to make use the opportunities towards the furtherance of its goals. The ministry aims to establish stronger and better relationships with its partners. This will involve the making of more creative ways and approaches of achieving the objectives of the ministry. The ministry also aims to encourage collaboration between its divisions to achieve its goals. The first opportunity the ministry has is the increase in the number of immigrants in the province. This increases the market size for the products the ministry has to offer. The increase in number of immigrants has provided a new opportunity for the ministry to promote awareness of the province’s many experiences and rich culture, which will be helpful in the achievement of the goals. The 2010 Olympic and Paralympics Winter Games offers a great opportunity for the ministry to exploit in an attempt to achieve its objectives. The economic downturn also presents a new opportunity for the Ministry of Tourism in Alberta. This is because the economic downturn and slowdown has led to the decline in value of the Canadian dollar, which has made international travels by Canadians unattractive. More people prefer to visit local destinations offering new opportunities for local markets like Alberta. Because of this, the ministry plans to initiate new products, experiences, services and destinations to help attract the local tourists. Another opportunity that the ministry has that can be used to meet its objectives is the increase and change in the demand for recreational facilities and experiences. There has been a major increase in the population size, which has increased the strain on the recreational facilities, which were made for smaller population sizes. Though this is a challenge for the ministry as it increases maintenance costs, the high demand and use presents a new opportunity for the ministry to increase its revenue.
There has been reduction in the budget size for the ministry of Tourism. The budget for the ministry has been reduced by about $ 55 million. This was followed by an increase in the operating expenses of the ministry by about $ 4.7 million. Since the ministry has to continue with its main operations, functions and responsibilities, it has called for the need to decide on how the budget cut will be shared between its divisions. Budget cuts will be done in different percentages depending on the importance of the function to the ministry. The first strategy involves reducing the tourism budget by 5%. This will help save a total of $ 7.23 without affecting the performance of main functions of the ministry. However, reductions in the total budget should not fall below this level to limit the loss of foreign exchange or dollars to Alberta through tourism.
After an evaluation of the issues concerning the Ministry, a number of strategic priorities have been put up to help in the attainment of the objectives. The strategies will be implemented in line with the existing Ministry activities. The first strategy will involve the establishment, development and safeguarding of the ministry’s opportunities. The first strategy will see the expansion and diversification in the tourism industry. The strategy will help illustrate Alberta as a preferable travel destination. The strategy will see the closing down of unprofitable parks and re-adjustment of service charges in poorly performing parks. The strategy aims to increase attendance to the parks and use of recreational facilities to help increase the level of revenue for the ministry. The strategy will also see the cut down of funds in some projects to help raise funds that will be used in marketing the firm. This is because only aggressive marketing can help restore the revenues of the ministry from its facilities.
The second strategy aims to use the 2010 Olympic and Paralympics Games to enhance the performance of the ministry. The strategy will ensure that the funding directed to the improvement of facilities that will be used for international training during the games is not cut down. This aims to ensure that the by 2010, Alberta has facilities of international standards to help attract participants to train in Alberta hence increase revenues for the company. The strategy also aims to make use of the games to market Alberta’s rich cultural heritage and excellent parks. The other strategy aims to deal with infrastructure. This is because the deteriorating infrastructure has come out as the main cause infrastructure has come out as the main reason for the high level of operating costs experienced in the ministry. The strategy aims to divert a large part of the available funds to the replacement and expansion of the existing infrastructure. The aim of this is to help reduce the level of operating costs and increase the capacity of the facilities to increase the revenue.
The final strategy will help deal with the issue of obesity since young people are not exercising enough. The strategy will involve the full implementation of the “Active and healthy lifestyles Linkage: Goal 3” in the previous business plan. The strategy is helpful, as it calls for minimal capital requirements. It will tackle the high levels of obesity seen in youths in the recent past. The ministry will promote the participation of youths in different sporting activities and advance energetic and healthy lifestyles among children and the youth. The ministry will also sustain and expand the efforts of stakeholders involved in the development of healthy society initiatives.
Other strategies that can help the Ministry include a 10% cut on park programs. This will entail the reduction in the rate of expansion of current parks, but ensuring that there is maintenance of the ministry’s core responsibilities and functions. This will help save about $ 14.5 million. This strategy will also involve the closing of non-profitable parks and will see the reduction of service expenses for parks that are performing poorly in a bid to increase attendance and revenue from the parks. Another viable strategy that will be implemented after the first strategy is a 15% reduction in specific programs. Most of the programs in the ministry operate at costs of between 47 million to 71 million. The application of this strategy in any one of the programs will lead to savings of about 21 million dollars. The last strategy involves a 10% reduction in the total budget. However, this might lead to $ 14.5 million loss thus should be used as the last resort. The main cuts will be done in the services and programs that the ministry offers to the people of Albertan. This will be done in the programs and services that are considered less essential and vital to the people. However, this may lead to a fall in the level of revenue for the ministry.
The Ministry plans to use a number of performance measures. The first performance measure will be “Per cent of tourism industry clients satisfied with tourism development services” The measure will be used to show the proportion of the public and private sector that will contact the Ministry in the year and show satisfaction with the kind of service that will be offered. The Ministry aims to have a measure of over 71.6%, which was registered in the previous year 2008-09. The measure will be helpful in showing the extent of customer satisfaction from the Ministry’s services. The second measure will be the “Total tourism expenditures in Alberta.” This measure will be useful in showing the total amount of expenditure by tourists in Alberta both local and international. For this year, the company aims to have an amount greater than $5.8 billion recorded in 2008. This will help in the analysis of factors influencing consumption by tourists such as value of the Canadian dollar, different World events and enhanced competition from other countries.
There are measures that will be used in tourism development and marketing. An example of such a measure will be “Per cent of clients satisfied with their overall experience at Travel to Alberta visitor information centers” The measure will help show the satisfaction of our clients after using any of the ministry’s information centers. The Ministry aims to achieve percentage higher than 99.9% customer satisfaction from persons who visit the centers. This measure will be helpful in establishing how the ministry can improve customer satisfaction. To evaluate the effectiveness of the company’s website, the measure “Per cent of website visitors satisfied with their experience on the TravelAlberta.com website” will be used. The level of satisfaction clients who visit TravelAlberta.com get. The Ministry aims to get a figure higher than 39.1%, which was recorded in the year 2008. Another measure that will be useful to the company is the “Visitor satisfaction with experiences at provincial parks and recreation areas”, which will be helpful in determining the quality of service offered to our clients. The Ministry aims to have a figure higher than 93.3%, which was achieved in the year 2008.
Tabulated performance measures Performance
|Performance measures||2007- 08 results||2008-09 results||Target|
Per cent of tourism industry clients satisfied with tourism development services
|Total tourism expenditures in Alberta.||$ 5.8 Billion
|Per cent of clients satisfied with their overall experience at Travel to Alberta visitor information centers||99.1%
|Per cent of website visitors satisfied with their experience on the TravelAlberta.com website”||79.5%
|Visitor satisfaction with experiences at provincial parks and recreation areas||89.5%
Financial Statements estimates for the Ministry of Tourism
2009 2008 2009
Federal Government 100,000 5,000 5,000
Fees and Charges 50,000 50,000 50,000
Total Revenue 150,000 55,000 55,000
Program A 200,000 190,000 190,000
Program B 100,000 90,000 90,000
Program C 75,000 0 0
Total Expenses 75,000 280,000 280,000
Net Expenses 225,000 225,000 225,000
Ministry (TOURISM) 2009-10
Budget Reduction @ 5% = $7,230,000
Budget Reduction @ 10% = $14,461,000
Budget Reduction @ 15% = $21,692,000
Alberta Recreation, Parks and Wildlife Foundation (1992). Alberta‘s parks– our legacy Canmore: Alberta Recreation, Parks & Wildlife Foundation