The visitor economy can crack the code for sustainable growth in Cochrane…
As locals, we want Cochrane to thrive, without the expense of our town’s coveted quietude. The visitor economy can help make this happen. When visitors spend money at our favourite local hotels, restaurants, attractions, and shops, the whole community profits through Cochrane’s visitor economy.
What is the visitor economy?
Visitors to Cochrane are much more than passers-by. They’re a vital part of our economy. When visitors spend money at our local shops, restaurants, and attractions, their dollars have a far-reaching impact beyond those tourism businesses alone.
How the multiplier effect creates a prosperous economy
Consider your favourite local ice cream shop. When lineups of out-of-towners wind around the block on hot summer days, revenue flows into the business and through the community. Here’s how it works:
1. Visitor buys a triple-scoop cone
2. Store owner replenishes supplies, injecting cash into the local economy
3. Store owner hires local service providers like an accountant and lawyer
4. Accountant and lawyer spend profits in town, further contributing to economic growth
This is how the multiplier effect of the visitor economy boosts Cochrane’s economy as a whole.
In 2019, visitors contributed $6.5 billion to Alberta’s gross domestic product (GDP), the primary indicator for a healthy economy.
Tourism in Alberta created 68,000 jobs in 2019 and directly contributed $3.9 billion to our provincial economy.
Unlocking the potential of tourism
Attracting visitors to Cochrane gives our town the opportunity to generate revenue without the growth that comes with residential development. This is why tourism is central to a sustainable future.
When businesses in sectors directly impacted by tourism – like our local ice cream shop – buy supplies and pay for utilities, they’re funneling another $1.5 billion into indirectly affected sectors. The employees who scoop your favourite flavours use their earnings to shop local, too, and each sector benefits from the others.
A healthy visitor economy can:
1. Strengthen our local businesses and entire social fabric
2. Boost civic pride and wellbeing through local culture and heritage activities
3. Help keep our town a beautiful place to live, work, and play