About AMA Travel & Our History

About Us

Since Alberta’s early years as a province, the people who would form AMA worked to make travel better for members, and all Albertans. We started close to home—building roads and helping folks find accommodations. Today we’re Western Canada’s largest travel agency—offering custom vacation packages based on things you love, local and worldwide.

Explore below to see the travel experiences and milestones throughout our 90-year journey.

How the Journey Started

Road to the Rockies

Albertans wanted a safe route to the Rocky Mountains from Edmonton to Jasper. The Edmonton Automobile and Good Roads Association (a forerunner to AMA) raised money for the road’s completion.

Camping with Your Car

The Calgary Automobile Club operates Alberta’s first “auto camp”—where travellers could park their cars, rest, and stay the night. Facilities include shade trees, toilets, water, firewood, and regular police patrols.

AMA Is in Business

The Alberta Motor Association is officially incorporated with a merger between the Edmonton Automobile and Good Roads Association, and the Calgary Auto Club.

Rooms and Road Markers

AMA begins issuing room reservations on behalf of business travellers staying at rural hotels.

When the Alberta government starts classifying road routes by colour, AMA leads the way and installs painted road markers to match.

Hotels for Motorists

Alberta’s first motel (motor hotel) is financed on a $2,000 loan from the Calgary AMA branch.

Helping Travellers Find Their Way

The Alberta government gives AMA the power to operate travel information bureaus and tourist camps.

Putting Alberta on the Map

The demand for road trip information is booming. AMA hands out 150,000 tourist maps in one year.

Hotel Booking Services

Unreliable telephone lines made it difficult for members to find accommodations in Banff and Jasper, so AMA creates a free hotel/motel booking service.

AMA Travel Takes Flight

AMA Edmonton centres offer full travel-agency services to Albertans looking to experience the world.

Giving Members Peace of Mind

To protect members vacationing abroad, AMA Travel introduces travel accident insurance.

We Love Cruising

AMA Travel is the single largest seller of Princess Cruises in North America.

Alberta’s Largest Travel Agency

With 16 agencies across Alberta, AMA is the largest travel agency in the province (and remains to this day).

President’s Cruise First Voyage

25-year members are rewarded for their loyalty with invitations to sail on the inaugural AMA President’s Cruise to the Caribbean. Check out the destination for this year’s President’s Cruise.

Travel Information Sessions

AMA Edmonton South holds its first “Travel Fair”—a precursor to today’s free information sessions. The Travel Fair featured experts from our preferred partners helping members choose the right vacation for them.

Vacation Booking On The Web

AMA Travel is the first agency in Canada to use a computer system for vacation bookings. Linked directly with travel partners, LeisureShopper reduces time spent making reservations to just three minutes.

Member-Exclusive Travel Benefits

AMA negotiates member-exclusive discounts and perks with preferred travel partners Holland America and Princess Cruises, as well as on a new product: CAA Friendship Cruises.

Book Travel Online

The AMA Travel website connects to AAA’s online booking system. Members can now make flight, hotel, and car rental bookings from their personal computer.

Cruise Centres, Cruise Specialists

AMA Travel debuts its first cruise centres, staffed by certified and experienced cruise specialists. Today, every AMA centre features dedicated cruise specialists.

Members who sail on AMA President’s Cruise get a free one-year subscription to Deck Chair magazine.

Go Solo Vacations

AMA Travel starts offering Go Solo vacations, designed specifically for travellers who want guidance seeing the world solo, but not alone.

Greater Hotel Inventory

We expand our online hotel inventory to contain more than 150,000 accommodations worldwide.

WHERE WE ARE TODAY

Serving Alberta for 90 years and with over 980,000 members, AMA has become one of the most established and trusted brands built in Alberta for Albertans. AMA helps you travel with confidence knowing that we will guide and support you before, during, and after your trip.

BOOK LOCAL. EXPERIENCE THE world.

Benefits you get with AMA Travel:

  • 200+ Travel Agents. Wherever you want to go, there’s a travel agent specializing in your destination who will give you firsthand recommendations and advice.
  • Service Guarantee. We’re confident we’ll make planning and booking your trip easy and stress free. If you’re not completely happy, we’ll make it right—and refund the fee.
  • Handpicked Deals. Alberta-based travel experts handpick our flight, hotel, vacation, and cruise deals. And if you ever need booking help, we’re here to help.
  • Best Price Guarantee. Book online with AMA Travel and we guarantee you’ll get the lowest price anywhere on hotels and vacation packages.
  • Member-Exclusive Benefits. From discounts (luggage, travel medical insurance) to extras (cruise benefits, free passport photos), members get even more.
View All Travel Benefits