One of the recommendations coming out of the task force report to finance some of its suggestions is a tourism levy on hotel rooms.
Most people including myself, because we do not pay attention to the list of charges that are added on to your hotel room bills one after another. Do not realize that we already pay a Tourism levy of 4%, which is collected by the Alberta Government and then distributed, to Travel Alberta to market tourism in the province.
There are many towns, such as Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, Banff and Canmore that have put in place a “Marketing Destination Fund”. This is an additional surcharge added to your room bill that that is used to market and promote that area.
In theory, it is a good idea and could be very effective as a revenue raiser under the right circumstances.
The other side:
• It’s another tax, anywhere from 1-3% is being charged
• Who collects and administrates the funds at what cost
• It’s voluntary so will all hotels collect it (Canmore Hotel and Lodging Association, states on its web site despite being in place for at least four years only 19% of the hotels in Canmore/Kananaskis charge the fee)
• What about the 4% we already pay that his intended to promote tourism, maybe our local and provincial politicians need to chase that source of funding.
• Most hotels charge it prior to the present tourism levy and GST, so the client now pays an additional 9% on the marketing destination charge.
• Will it apply to bed and breakfast accommodation?
• If the communities around you are not doing a similar process does it not become a deterrent, a significant number of our present hotel stays are crews working in the area that will spend tens of thousands of dollars at a time. An extra 2% on a $20,000 tab is $400 why not stay in Pincher and save those dollars some company’s will.
Any way I am sure, when council looks at this there will be some very spirited debate, it will also be interesting to see the reaction of our local hotels/motels.