Culture and Tourism Estimates 2018
Every time with the minister or just, please chair Kate please proceed well. Thank you Thank You Minister thank you, to your to. Your staff I. Had. To smile when I saw that April ninth was the date of Culture and Tourism estimates. Because was exactly four years ago today that I defended, estimates, for tourism parks and recreation and, reason that sticks. Out in my mind ministers, that was my mom's birthday, oh and, April. 9th 2014. Was the first birthday, my mom where, my mom after my mom had passed away, so it's, it's. A little bit bittersweet when I look at the date but I will tell you that as you know I appreciate, the opportunity to, discuss these issues with you because it's still something I have a great deal of passion for, so, let's delve into it mr.. Chair. 2016. Tourism. Statistics released. Last week and they were very encouraging I was very pleased to see that we had an eight point five two things even though as we know it's delayed from stats can but, eight point five billion in tourism economic, activity, with increases, in visitation. And visitor spending, and this. Is fabulous. Minister. I know you and I had the discussion, that we are still, following. Or at least were still being guided by the tourism strategy, or the tourism framework, wasn't, sure about that after some discussion we added Public Accounts a couple of weeks ago but that's been clarified, but. When you look at it that's going to mean that we need to have four more years of 5% consistent. Year-over-year growth to get to that ten point three billion dollar target, and, yet when I log to or some expenditures, in this budget or cut are cut by 8%. So, I guess my question is how are we going to meet our objectives. In the tourism framework, for, continued, growth with yet another cut, to the tourism budget, well. I will, first. Of all it's. My. Condolences, on your, mother's passing and this being a very, meaningful. Day for you I I. Can appreciate. The. Importance of it I will. Say that we, still have. The. Tourism investment in market development. Still. Among. The fourth largest. In the country, the. The. Sorry. The. Tourism, framework, set the goal of growing the industry, to seven. Point eight by twenty twelve and ten point three by 2020, the, average annual compounded, growth rates to reach the target was four point two which, was thought to be a conservative rate given the performance of the. Economy at the time the. Goal was developed through consultation, and engagement, with. The, tourism. Stakeholders. And partners to, develop the tourism framework and. We, continue to use it as I'm as you mentioned, and then conversations. The. The, one thing I will say about this, the, the, budget here is that as. You know many, have, tied the value of the, levy. To. The, amount of money that's spent on culture and tourism and. I will say that in this budget although. We have seen a reduction we. Have seen also fifty. Six point. For, to travel Alberta in the tourism division, ten. Points ten point five okay today's. Well for capital projects that our tourism infrastructure. Such. As a Telus world center an. Addition, into. Our ongoing commitment of ninety two million dollar over three years for the Calgary Zoo for Remington Park and. The other thing too is that many divisions in the ministry contribute, to the tourism growth and development, of. Course, investments.
In Museums and heritage sites, through the Heritage. Resource plantation, we. Have recreational. Events that are funded by the Alberta Sports connection which also promotes tourism and. Environmental. And parks ministry. We, have allocated. Twenty two million dollars through the capital plan for the maintenance and renewal of, Alberta, parks including two million in support of the new provincial castle, region parks so, when you put all the money that is being spent in tourism development it's. A lot actually a lot more than what the tourism levy actually, brings in. We're, going to work with our, industry partners to ensure that we, have sorry, yep, no I think that's I appreciate, all of that minister but but I mean what, you're doing is you're actually bringing in a lot of spending that is actually capital spending it's not operational, spending, and the the, levy that you mentioned, was always intended to be spent on operations, and tourism. Stakeholders, are telling me and and it's certainly borne out by the numbers that, year after year after year the amount that is spent on tourism, operation. The, amount that is dedicated, over to travel Alberta which was cut by another, four. Million dollars this year you. Know by 10.10, point three percent the travel Alberta allocation, is down the. Concern is not you know that we're, not continuing. To support, from a capital standpoint because that's always happened, you, know in the park side that has always happened but it's on the operational. Side so you, know let's I do want to move on to a couple of other areas the minister now. Even, as recent as last year, whenever, there was a press release on tourism, from the ministry there, would be quoting, the 2013. Numbers of 127. Thousand direct and indirect jobs 19, hundred businesses, and a 1.1, eight billion dollar taxation. Revenue to the province, and. Now we're five years down the road from that and, I, recall last year you stated, and I'll quote from for, a number of practical reasons the tourism division research, team has determined that it is not useful to do an economic impact assessment, on an annual basis and you, continued, we're working very closely with our colleagues and economic development and trade to determine, which. Economic, impact models best serve the interest of the industry so, Minister what, have you, and the folks in economic development and trade determined, and can, you give us an updated, number on the number of jobs the. Number of businesses, and the taxation revenue, generated, in, the province by tourism. Okay. So thank. You for that, once, we receive direct, detailed, results from stats Canada, service. We conduct further analysis, to determine the economic impact, of racism as you know, these. Include estimates on the number of jobs in industry and tax revenues to all levels of government for. A number of reasons, we do not run economic impact modeling on an annual basis. The small changes, do, not justify the cost that's incurred to so last year yeah so, the numbers 2015. Varied only in, the levels of local and municipal taxation. Now that we have the. 2015-2016. Numbers, we are going to be running the information. And numbers in order to be able to determine. What the. New stats are and. We will be able to publish them very shortly perfect perfect upset, and I appreciate, that sometimes, to do something every single year is maybe a little bit of overkill when, we were doing estimates. That seniors for example we determined stats Canada only third does certain parameters, once every five years, stunning.
I Mean, I can't, see how you operate. A statistical. Service doing that. Just. A couple questions about overall, tourism, as it compares, to, your overall. Department. You. Know as I said there's been an 8% cut in the overall tourism budget including, ten point three percent cuts, to travel Alberta and, yet when I look at the overall Department, of Culture and Tourism in the past two years since you became Minister the, overall. Budget that we're voting, on at least is up sixteen, point three percent, since, you became Minister in 2016, so while, the overall ministry expenditures. Are up substantially. Tourism, expenditures, have been cut so. Minister a question I get from stakeholders. Is what percentage, of overall ministry. Spending, does tourism, encompass, and how, has that changed in, the last two years. Well. The. Fact. That tourism, has is. Significant. In diversifying. Our economy. That's. Not the question I asked and I'm sorry I hesitate, to interrupted minister but nobody's. Questioning the impact, what I want to know is how, has the change, in tourism spending. In, terms of the total departmental. Spending. How has that changed in the past two years do. You want the comparison, from year to year is that what you're talking to compare, what what it was two years ago to what it is today well. Give. Me one second and I will get that information. Yeah. Thank. You so, assistant. To travel Alberta in. 1617. Was fifty nine million. Dollars the. Estimates, for 2018. Is fifty, five million. Dollars. For. Capital. Sorry the operating. Expense overall in the ministry has been three hundred and ten million and. The estimates for 2018-19, are three hundred and sixty million right right. As. I said just a minute ago the number of overall for the ministry is up 16%, and tourism. Is down eight percent over that same period so, I guess my question is. What. Was the total, percentage, of the ministry, budget that was represented, by tourism, in. 2016. Or two years ago and what, is that today. In. Terms of percentages. I will have to do. There. Is a decrease overall, and and one of the concerns that I'm hearing from tourism stakeholders. Is that, the ministry, has developed. A much stronger cultural, focus than, a tourism focus, and that in fact tourism, which was once the, lead ministry, in a standalone, ministry, you know with parks and recreation is now, a bit of an afterthought, in, a ministry, where the total expenditures, and I've actually done the calculation, this year the tourism, portion, of the overall ministry budget is 15 percent, so. So minister I mean, I wish, I'd like you know maybe on the record comment, for stakeholders, their, observation. That the tourism in the culture and tourism ministry. Has become an afterthought. Well. I would, say that I do not agree with that. Namely. Because the work that we're doing to, increase. Cultural. Participation does. Promote tourism when. You're promoting. The. Vibrant, communities, you you're actually attracting, people to visit, those places. Having. Festivals. Having, all kinds of artistic. Activities, a, vibrant. Cultural sector, absolutely, creates, the. Kinds of cities are not people normally people want to live in but they also want to visit so there, is, I. Believe. Direct. Correlation, between, the. Increase. In. Cultural, activities to visitation, in, any particular area. I'll. Give you one example the, the the. Growing of the. Pride in Jasper for example creates an increased visitation to, the city in the shoulder season, and. Those kinds of things do promote. Vibrancy. In a community but it also attracts, people to that area so it. Is not an afterthought, in fact it's part of the the, work that we do with other ministries, to, ensure that tourism is part of our strategy as, a government, okay, okay, thanks Minister.
Topic. And it has to do with operational, costs for our very important hotel sector now apart. From resort, areas which have done very well in the last few years all other areas of the province have seen a dramatic drop in both occupancy, levels, and hotels as well as revenue per available room, and. Yet wcv. Statistics. Show the payroll, costs, over the same period have increased from 885. Million in, 2013. To 990. Million this year a 12%. Increase up I think. Some of that at. Least is due to an increase in minimum wage that just actually. To. Clarify something for me I thought, I heard you say earlier being, questioning, from the member for Lacombe panocha, that. The. Minimum. Wage or the increase in minimum wage is a positive, thing because most of the people on minimum wage are single mothers you said what I heard I thought I heard you said that's one of these stats that I received father okay, well I just I'm here to inform you that I just checked on that and that's that's way wrong according. To your own Alberta, Labor Department, statistics of the, 292,000, Albertans. On minimum, wage eighteen. Thousand, two hundred. Identify. Themselves or 6.2% identified. Themselves as single parents not mother or father but, single parent with children. So I just you know wanted to clarify that but moving. On with regard to hotel, costs, I'm, concerned, that, while. Revenues. Have remained, relatively, static, or have you even dropped for most property, of the outside, of resort areas a number. Of expenses including, payroll including, things like carbon, levy have, increased. So my question to you is what analysis, is the government, planning in this budget or in subsequent. Activities, to analyze, the impacts, of the increases, in operating, costs for hotels in our province. Well. One of the things about the, tourism, industry that, as you know for. The most part in, it. With, respect to the wages, there's. A shortage and in. The. Mountain. Areas, and in. Fact most of them actually pay over an above minimum wage and it's, actually. You. Know they have they have a hard time actually attracting, people, the. Other the other challenges. Is that in, other areas. Hotels. That. Odd. Numbers. To the inventory, do. Not have, traditionally. Tourism. Based. Customer. Numbers. Because most of them or a large number of them were largely. Built. To, house, workers. In certain, industries, that. As, you know with, the economic downturn we. Have seen a reduction. In those numbers and so it's working, with those in this with, those regions. To developed. Tourism, sectors, to attract. More people to those hotels. And. With, respect to that carbon levy we. Are working with industry to ensure that we can, address. The concerns that they have and develop. Plans with them to reduce their costs. Yeah. Well Minister, I can tell you that this is something that's becoming a real concern, for the hospitality, industry overall. Especially for hotels. Minister. As you know the, world tourism, is certainly changing more and more travelers or relying on on, travel agencies like Expedia, I'd. Like to know what is the government calculation. Of lost taxation, and tourism levy dollars to these online agencies. And what plan if any is there, to mitigate, these losses and finally on this topic how much does travel Alberta, spend each year advertising, through. These online travel, agencies, which in turn cannibalize, our tourism, revenues. I. Was. Trying to remember we had this conversation. So. Absolutely. The changes, in for, example. Things. Like Airbnb, we're, giving and things that have. Changed, significantly. We. Are going to continue, looking. At different, ways in, order to to. Arrive. At. Some. Sort of resolution to that I. Do. Not have yeah. You, will need to get back to you on this one because we do not have the most recent figures for that but we will. Let's. Actually talk about that I'm glad you mentioned Airbnb because, there's a recent report by the CB re in the hotel Association of Canada that, found that hotels, in Everson and Cal and Calgary generated. Over a hundred million dollars in touring, consumer, taxes, and fees over and above the tourism life but. In December 2017. Airbnb, announced the business, in Edmonton. Had increased, by two hundred. And eighty four percent over the previous year so. Minister, I know you're looking at it and I appreciate that you're looking at it but my concern, is is while you're looking at it we. Are seeing funds. Basically, slipped, through our fingers in, a big way and I really do believe that it is time for the. For. The ministry to take a very strong look at that so my question is how, does this.
Budget Address the impact, of short-term rentals, on the tourism levy and does. The government you know you said you're looking at it and that's great but does the government have some, specific plan to address the uneven, playing field between, hotel. Operators, that collect the levy and contribute, through regular, taxation, and short-term. Rental operators, who purchase homes and, condo properties, is expressly, to rent them out on a nightly basis and, then they run these businesses, on a personal, tab personal taxation level, levels, and contribute, nothing to the tourism levy yeah, well. Thank, you and it's something that. When. I say we're going to look at it it's something that we have been, talking. About it's. Something that I know many, of the stakeholders, that approach me have expressed, concern and it's something that I have heard and taken taken, back the. Work that we have to do is of course are reaching a balanced. View in some jurisdictions there, is actual, legislation, that has been implemented, I believe Quebec, and Ontario have. Legislation. The. Other, other. Things that can be done are also regulations. I know some, municipalities. Have implemented regulations, so, because. Of the different approaches that are being taken one of the things that I want to do is is is, really look at what. Is working and what isn't working first of all and. Then have, a. Plan. A develop a plan on how we can actually, address. The issue. Because. Legislation, may not necessarily be, the, best solution but. It is one solution, but. I'm going to continue working with the industry to to to. Capture their concerns to, develop. An action plan and hopefully. Arrive at a solution sure. They're very tough Minister. I guess, I would really encourage them, industry to move beyond what, I view right now is being, paralysis. By analysis, I mean. Yes you got to look at things you look at cross-jurisdictional go, look at different ways of doing things but at some point.
While. We're waiting and analyzing, and looking and studying this. Goes on and as I just mentioned, you know what 284. Percent growth. Is this is a massive, road mister, my final, question of, course, last week we we greeted both, our Olympic. And Paralympic athletes. You, know that, was a great afternoon. And, we're all very proud of them I guess my question is, with regards, to. Olympic. Fund and and and that sort of thing through the Alberta sport connection, is what. Progress has been made on, the, going the distance Alberta, Sport plan. Specifically. What measurables, have been achieved where we at with the implementation of the plan and are, all of the steps in the plans continuing. To be in, keeping with the long term athlete development plan. That was developed largely, here in the province of Alberta by, researchers, both at the University of Alberta the University of Calgary absolutely. First. Of all thank you that was a really, a great, opportunity for everybody. Ali amylase, to come in and meet some of these amazing young people the. Alberta's production, plan implementation. Plan was developed passes as you mentioned with the stakeholder, consultation, and engagement, coordinated. By the upper disperse connection, and. The implementation, is actually targeted for this year 2018, it, includes a new. Funding, and accountability framework. Which is part of the sports. Action plan the funding, and accountability framework, is, based on a three-year funding cycle which, will be phased over the three years, beginning in 2018 19. As. Part of the, the. Implementation. Of 2014. 2024. The, Alberta sports connection. Drops. The final, 14 minutes watch the government caucus.