CALGARY — David Goldstein has been appointed as Travel Alberta’s new CEO, effective November 16, 2020. He takes over the role from Chris Heseltine, who has served as the acting CEO for the past six months. Heseltine will continue as vice-president of Economic Development and Community Engagement for Travel Alberta with acting responsibility for Strategy, Insights and Stakeholder Engagement.
Goldstein has an extensive background in tourism and media, most recently serving as Chief Operating Officer at Gusto Worldwide Media. Prior to this, he was president and CEO of Destination Canada for nearly five years, in addition to his nearly five years as president and CEO of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC), which represents the tourism industry at the national level.
“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,” says Travel Alberta Board Chair Linda Southern-Heathcott. “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.”
During his time with Destination Canada and TIAC, Goldstein has been 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.
“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,” says Goldstein.