Longtime Tourism Exec David Goldstein Appointed CEO at Travel Alberta

November 5, 2020 Admin

David Goldstein has been appointed as Travel Alberta’s new CEO, effective November 16, 2020.

Goldstein has an extensive background in tourism and media, most recently serving as Chief Operating Officer at Gusto Worldwide Media. Prior to this, Goldstein was President and CEO of Destination Canada, the Government of Canada’s marketing and research organization, for nearly five years.

On top of that, he spent nearly five years as President and CEO of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC), which represents the tourism industry at the national level.

Goldstein joins Travel Alberta at a crucial time for Alberta’s tourism industry. Prior to COVID-19, Alberta tourism was an $8.9 billion industry on a growth trajectory, supporting 22,000 businesses and generating nearly 73,000 jobs.

Now faltering from the pandemic, the worst crisis for the travel sector in the modern era, traveller spending in Alberta is anticipated to fall approximately 63 per cent in 2020 (to $3.5 billion), compared to 2019.

“The Travel Alberta Board and I are absolutely thrilled to have David join Travel Alberta as CEO to chart a new path for Alberta’s tourism sector at this critical time,” said Linda Southern-Heathcott, chair of the Travel Alberta board. “David brings tremendous knowledge and sector specific experience that will be vital to support the Travel Alberta team and our industry through this important time.

“David’s connection and passion to tourism in Canada will ensure that Alberta is well-positioned to once again welcome back visitors from the rest of the country and all over the world, when it is safe to do so,” said Southern-Heathcott.

“I look forward to working with David to rebuild Alberta’s visitor economy,” said Doug Schweitzer, Alberta’s Minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation. “Having the privilege of being part of the record growth in Canada’s visitor economy over the decade preceding this crisis, I felt it was time to get back in the game and be part of the recovery.

“This is personal for me. I know too many entrepreneurs—some of them in second and third generation family businesses—that are reeling from this crisis. Families and communities are relying on a smart recovery.”

“I’ve long collaborated with, and admired, the team at Travel Alberta, and see this as an opportunity to roll up my sleeves to help create the conditions for success,” said Goldstein.

During his time with Destination Canada and TIAC, Goldstein was at the forefront of several important initiatives driving Canada’s tourism sector forward, including: the development of the Federal Tourism Strategy; changes in aviation and visa policy; increased investments in global marketing; and modernizing an aligned strategy with provinces and city destination marketing organizations (DMOs) to develop the global Team Canada strategy, known as NorthStar 22.

“On behalf of the Board and the Travel Alberta team, I also wish to thank Chris Heseltine for serving as the acting CEO for the past six months. His leadership has been instrumental in supporting the Travel Alberta team and our industry partners through this difficult time,” said Southern-Heathcott.

Heseltine will continue as Vice President of Economic Development and Community Engagement for Travel Alberta with acting responsibility for Strategy, Insights and Stakeholder Engagement.

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