As May long weekend kicks off the tourism season, Calgary (Alberta, Canada) attractions hope for a successful year.
The three-day weekend also marks the beginning of the tourism season for Calgary-based attractions.
According to a report, after over two years of closures and restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many hope that 2022 will be the year of renewed possibilities and record-breaking numbers of visitors.
Calaway Park hopes that’s the case as it opened its doors for its 41st season this weekend.
Bob Williams, general manager of the park, said he believes this year could go down in the record books due to the renewed sense of normalcy over the last two years.
“It feels… normal,” Williams said. “We’re opening on the traditional May long weekend that we have when we opened in 1982.”
Williams stated that an increase in fuel cost might also lead to residents looking to stay local this summer.
“Calaway’s RV park and campground are up in reservations, we think it’s going to be a regional market,” he said. “People are going to stay closer to home.
“With fuel prices and everything else, people from Saskatchewan, southeast British Columbia, and Alberta, we believe, will be our market this year.”
One location also looking forward to a fantastic year is Heritage Park. The park was opened to the public this weekend and is already receiving large numbers of visitors.
“Last time I checked — which was about a month ago — we had more than 320 tour groups coming from around the world which exceeds any one of the best years we’ve ever had,” said Lindsey Galloway, president, and CEO of Heritage Park.
On average, Heritage Park welcomes around 3,000 visitors per day, but only one-third of that number visited the park during the pandemic.
“Heritage Park has managed to stickhandle through, persevere like all Calgarians and Calgary businesses, so we’re pretty pleased to have made it through what we hope is the worst part of it.”
With nearly all restrictions lifted and more significant events coming back to Calgary, Carson Ackroyd, senior vice-president of sales at Tourism Calgary, said this could cause ripple effects on lesser-known attractions throughout the Calgary region.
“Our larger events often times mean visitors come to the city and they want to experience things like Heritage Park, Calgary Zoo and others as part of their trip to Calgary,” Ackroyd said. “As we start to see the rebound for all of our events, I expect you’ll see staples of our attractions in Calgary have very, very strong summers as well.”
This story originally appeared on Global News.