A tourism and hospitality industry recovery task force chaired by Banff-Kananaski MLA Miranda Rosin has received sweeping interest from across the province.

Yesterday, 96 people from across Alberta participated in the first online meeting of tourism industry and government officials. It aims to develop strategies to help the hard-hit industry survive through the COVID-19 pandemic, then relaunch successfully.

"It was an exceptional turn out for the first meeting," says Rosin. "I think that shows just how much interest there is in advancing the agenda and the response of the tourism/hospitality industry."

Rosin and federal MP Blake Richards, the Conservatives federal tourism shadow cabinet minister, presented details on existing support available from each level of government and fielded questions from industry. Richards will continue to participate in future meetings.

The meeting a great first step, says Rosin, and recognizing there's plenty of work ahead.

"As we move forward to subsequent meetings to evaluate supports and strategies that will ensure tourism fully rebounds to past levels, we'll be subdividing the task force regionally for urban and rural tourism versus hospitality to make sure all industry participants have ample opportunity for input and suggestions," explains MLA Rosin.

Jo-Anne Oucharek, executive director of the Cochrane Tourism Association, was among the participants.