Passenger numbers up at Lethbridge Airport

By Justin Goulet
February 11, 2019 - 12:09pm

LETHBRIDGE, AB – A new tourism review shows that passenger numbers are on the rise at the Lethbridge Airport.

William Slenders is the Executive Director of Tourism Lethbridge. The organization is set to publish its Tourism Lethbridge Review for the public.

“The Tourism Lethbridge Review is a review that we’re trying to create that emulates other tourism industry statistics,” Slenders said.

“Alberta Culture and Tourism produces their own version of what they call their market monitor. What it monitors is substantial tourism industry development, so this is everything from traffic and international air accounts coming in from the Calgary and Edmonton airports to traffic crossings along the (Trans Canada Highway) and Highway 16.”

Slenders said with the increase of WestJet service, the Lethbridge Airport has moved up from having one air carrier to two.

“What we’re hoping to see is a continued and more stable growth into the future as our tourism markets try to use the airport as an essential conduit to activate people coming into Lethbridge,” he said.

Slenders said their current goal is to “actively create a baseline” that they can use to monitor the progress of tourism in Lethbridge and improve the sector going forward.

According to statistics provided by the Slenders, there was a 73.3 percent jump in people flying into Lethbridge from November 2017 to November 2018, and a 77.4 percent increase in people flying to Calgary from Lethbridge.

“That just shows that we’ve had a great amount of people utilize the airport both coming into the community as well as leaving the community,” Slenders said.

“The information has to be taken with a little bit of a grain of salt because we only had one air carrier (in Nov. 2017) and having that second carrier will show a substantial increase in the utilization of the airport.”

Slenders continued, saying one of their missions to make Lethbridge tourism as strong as it can be.

“For us, this is really about identifying what Lethbridge has, using that information to better determine how we can continue to move forward, and finally re-analyzing that at the end of the year to determine if what we did was truly successful, and then to really make the changes to our tourism programming necessary to ensure that we have a much stronger tourism industry inside the community.”

Slenders said the Tourism Lethbridge Review is set to be published on the organization’s website for public viewing in the near future.

Anyone wishing to share their feedback on what they would like to see included in the report can contact Tourism Lethbridge.  

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