Alberta spent $14 million promoting itself at the Vancouver Olympics, but officials say the money was well spent and predict it will attract enough business to the province to recoup the full amount several times over.
Cindy Ady, minister of tourism, parks and recreation, said Tuesday that the money the province spent on the three-year promotional campaign will be more than recouped through new business and tourism deals for Alberta.
Ady estimated the Olympic campaign would bring in about $70 million in business and tourism deals over the next two to three years.
Her department spent $6 million, including the cost of renting the Rocky Mountaineer train to run between Vancouver and Whistler adorned with logos advertising Alberta.
Around 2,800 people rode the train, including influential tour operators and travel writers, said Ady.
“The rights to the train cost us $4 million, and because we sold into private industry on several of the cars and were able to generate even more business for the province of Alberta, we netted back 50 per cent of the cost of the train,” Ady said. “So, the train cost the Alberta taxpayers $2 million.”
The Mountaineer will remain painted with Alberta logos for the rest of this year’s tourist season.
The Department of Culture and Community Spirit spent another $8 million to help Alberta artists take part in the Cultural Olympiad and perform at Alberta House, the provincial pavilion built to showcase the province at the Games.
“Alberta’s vibrant culture was showcased through the Cultural Olympiad and other arts programming connected to the Games,” said Culture Minister Lindsay Blackett.
The province said Alberta House and Alberta Plaza each attracted thousands of visitors, who came to see free concerts and other performances.
Read more: CBC News
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