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Sometimes we Canadians give Alberta a bad rap.  Sure, their political stances usually clash with the rest of the country, and yes, most of the province is obsessed with oil and gas.  However, we often forget that Alberta is home to some of the most beautiful landscapes Canada has to offer.  And, new statistics are showing the province is on the rise for tourism.

Alberta recently had a record-breaking year for visitors with nearly 35 million tourists flocking to the province in 2016.  A release from the Government of Alberta showed that tourists spent $8.5 billion in that year, an increase of nearly 5% from the year before.

Domestic visitors from around Canada rose in Alberta by 9.4% from 2015 to 2016, with an increase of 10.9% of international travellers as well.

“From hidden gems, unique destinations and one-of-a-kind experiences, tourism continues to play a pivotal role in our province’s economy as Alberta’s reputation as a world-renowned tourist destination grows,” said Ricardo Miranda the Alberta minister of culture and tourism.

“The strong performance of Alberta’s tourism sector in 2016 shows its resiliency and continued potential to diversify the economy, create jobs and generate investment in communities across the province.”

Maybe they’re not so bad in Alberta after all.