Frequently Asked Questions
The information on this page is designed to assist you in planning your meetings. If you can’t find an answer to your question here, please contact Travel Alberta’s MICE team.
Alberta at a Glance
- 4,025,074 More than 11% of Canadians call Alberta home.
- 661,185 sq km (255,303 sq mi), Canada’s fourth largest province, slightly larger than France.
- Mt. Columbia, 3,747 m (12,294 ft), second highest peak in the Canadian Rockies.
- 2,330 – the most in Canada.
- Five in Alberta (of 15 in Canada).
- None. Only Alberta can say this.
- Over 300 courses, including several of North America’s finest.
- Six major Rocky Mountain resorts, plus 66 regional hills.
GST Reimbursement For Conventions
Sponsors and non-registered organizers of foreign conventions may be eligible to claim a rebate for the GST paid on convention facilities and related convention supplies. Click here to find out if your are eligible
For information on meeting venues, please see Hotels & Meeting Spaces.
You can find all the information you need about planning your trip to Alberta on TravelAlberta.com. The Trip Planning section includes information on Getting Here, Getting Around, Currency, Taxes, Time Zone, Public Holidays, the Metric System, Weather and more.
Passports & Visas
International visitors to Canada must carry a valid passport and, if required, a visa. Visit the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website for a complete listing of countries whose citizens require a visa to enter Canada.
U.S. citizens are required to have either a passport or NEXUS card when travelling to Canada.
Crossing The Border
Customs For Meeting Planners
If you are a convention, meeting or event planner, trade show organizer this information will be of special interest to you. The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), together with the help of other government departments and agencies, has designed the International Events and Convention Services Program (IECSP) to assist you in the planning process so you will be aware of any Canadian border-related requirements for your event.
An IECSP coordinator is able to access various Government of Canada agencies and departments on your behalf, and has the expertise to advise you on what you need to know about bringing your type of event to Canada, including the following:
- The Letter of Recognition – a letter of introduction, issued by the IECSP coordinator, which you may present to the CBSA upon your arrival in Canada to facilitate the entry process
- Border-related requirements, exemptions and services that may apply to your specific event
- Moving your goods from the Canadian border to your specific event
- Non-Canadians working in Canada
- Visitor visa requirements for persons from countries that require a visa to visit Canada
- Duties and taxes
- Canada's goods and services tax (GST) and security deposits
Gifts valued at CAD$60 or less each may be brought into Canada duty free and tax free. If you bring in gifts worth more than CAD$60, they will be subject to duty on the excess amount. Alcoholic beverages, tobacco products and advertising materials do not qualify as gifts.
Alcohol and Tobacco
You can bring in limited quantities of alcohol if you meet the minimum age requirements of the province where you enter Canada (18 years for Alberta).
You are allowed to bring into Canada the following duty free:
- 40 oz (1.14L) liquor OR 53 oz (1.5 L) wine OR 24 x 355 ml (12 oz) cans or bottles of beer or ale
- 200 cigarettes; 50 cigars or cigarillos
- 200 grams (7 ounces) of manufactured tobacco
- 200 tobacco sticks
For more information on bringing in alcohol and tobacco to Canada, please visit the Canada Border Services Agency website.
Alberta District Office
Bay 32, 3033 34th Avenue NE
Calgary, Alberta T1Y 6X2
Toll Free: 1.800.461.9999
501 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
Canadian Tourism Commission Office (U.S.)
4601 North Fairfax Drive, Suite #1160
Arlington, Virginia 22203 U.S.A.
Tipping in Canada
Tips or service charges are not usually added to the bill in Canada. In general a tip of 15-20% of the total amount should be given. It's up to you how much you give bellhops, doormen, porters and other staff at hotels, airports and railway stations, but generally $1 and up per item is standard. Tipping your server both at the bar and at the table is common practice in Canadian bars and nightclubs.
Canadian appliances operate on 110 volts (60Hz), which is identical to the U.S. voltage. A universal adaptor is required for overseas electrical devices. Main wall sockets (or power outlets) and plugs for 110 volts are two parallel flat blades. If those sockets are different from the ones used in your country you will need a socket converter.