Tourism boost expected as 'The Last of Us' highlights locations across Alberta
The first season of HBO’s The Last of Us aired its finale on March 12 and the show has been taking the world by storm since its premiere.
The hit show was filmed in locations across Alberta and an expected tourism boom could be on the horizon for many of the filming locations.
"There's a moment here in Alberta where we're on the map in Canada as a place to come and film and visit," said Tannis Gaffney, chief marketing officer with Travel Alberta.
The Last of Us tells the story of two people making their way across a post-apocalyptic United States,trying to find a cure for a fungal-baseddisease devastating the world.
However, the HBO show, based off the critically acclaimed video game, was actually filmed right here in Alberta.
With 21 million viewers per episode, the series is showing the world what our province has to offer.
"What we're experiencing right now, I think, is a cultural moment in Alberta, a cultural moment with the game and the show and we are part of the conversation," said Gaffney.
It’s the largest production ever shot in Canada, costing upwards of $100million for the nine-episode season.
More than 180 locations in Alberta were used for the filming, including Calgary and Edmonton as well as some of Alberta’s smaller spots like Canmore, Fort Macleod and Waterton.
"I think that’s really the exciting thing for us – exploring the hidden gems in the province that we as Albertans know about," added Gaffney.
"Travellers might not necessarily know that that would be an interesting place to travel when you get here."
The hope is for a boost in tourism.
Some, like Waterton Lakes National Park, are already seeing an uptick despite being the off-season.
"It was a really big deal and we didn't realize it was going to be that big a deal, so it was quite exciting," said Shameer Suleman with the Waterton Park Chamber of Commerce.
"There was a lot of Instagram people and influencers that had come down to actually take photos and videos and shoot in the exact areas that the show had been shot in."
The production also created hundreds of jobs.
Lindsey Kapitzke is a University of Lethbridge alum who worked as a costumer buyer for the productionthat lasted more than 14 months.
"It's the biggest production in Canadian history and so just the opportunity to be a part of it was incredible," Kapitzke said.
"It was this very unique opportunity that I just jumped at as soon as I got it."
Moving forward, Travel Alberta says the hope is for more productions to shoot here thanks to the success of The Last of Us.
"This is a moment where there’s hopefully future investment and future film that’s going to come to the province because of the success of this show," Gaffney told CTV News.
Season two of The Last of Us was greenlit by HBO back in January, but there's still no word yet as to where it will be filming.
For a full list of where they filmed, you can visit Travel Alberta’s website where they have a full interactive map highlighting all 180 locations.
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