Anyone who’s been to Banff lately knows what the Alberta tourism department confirmed Friday.The quaint mountain town’s streets and thoroughfares are indeed a little more crowded after the UCP government released statistics showing tourism spending is back to pre-pandemic levels all across Alberta, not just in the mountain parks.According to the department of tourism and sport, visitors spent about $10.7 billion in various Alberta locales in 2022, up more than $600 million from 2019 when the COVID-19 crisis took hold. That figure had fallen to $6.34 billion in 2021..The rebound is about two years ahead of schedule, Tourism and Sport Minister Joseph Schow said in a news release.“The tourism industry's comeback has wide-reaching benefits across the province. Thanks to the unwavering support of our visitors, the dedication of our industry partners and the resilience of our destinations and operators, Alberta’s tourism industry is recovering faster than expected,” he said.In 2021, Travel Alberta launched a three-year tourism strategy, known as the Bootstrap Plan, centred around three pillars: marketing, air access and destination development. The goal was to have the visitor economy recover and return to pre-pandemic revenues by 2024. .“The accelerated recovery of Alberta’s visitor economy did not happen by accident,“Darren Reeder, CEO of the Tourism Industry Association of Alberta.As part of the plan, Travel Alberta’s budget was hiked to $72 million over three years from $63 million previously.According to Darren Reeder, CEO of the Tourism Industry Association of Alberta, the tourism industry is one single entity, encompassing a range of sectors including food and beverage, hospitality, accommodation, transportation and other travel services amounting to around 94,000 jobs.The government is hoping to double the number of tourism dollars to $21 million by 2030 and the tourist related workforce to 195,000 in just five years.“The accelerated recovery of Alberta’s visitor economy did not happen by accident, rather as a result of a disciplined, performance-driven plan to support tourism market investment and recovery. This helps to demonstrate that every dollar invested in tourism contributes to job creation and further diversification of the provincial economy,” he said..Americans were the biggest spenders in Alberta, with $730 million in various Alberta locales.Apart from Americans — who dropped a cool $730.2 million in 2022 — Brits were far and away the biggest spenders in Alberta last year, accounting for $183.7 million compared to just $33 million in 2021. They were followed by the Australians and Germans who added about $77 million each, which was barely half of their respective pre-pandemic levels.The biggest drop off was among Chinese visitors. Mainlanders spent about a paltry $17 million at Alberta destinations last year, compared to $188.5 million in 2019.