Funds from new Courtenay room tax will be used for tourism marketing

The Ministry of Finance has approved Courtenay’s application to implement a tax on room rentals at hotels, motels and hostels.

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Destination marketing in the Comox Valley is about to get a major boost.

The Province of BC’s Ministry of Finance has approved the City of Courtenay’s application to implement a two per cent Additional Hotel Room Tax (AHRT) on room rentals at hotels, motels and hostels in the City.

The tax will be used to provide additional funding for tourism and destination marketing programs, to be administered by Comox Valley Economic Development Society (CVEDS). The tax will go into effect on March 1.

“We’re pleased the Ministry has approved our application,” said Courtenay Mayor Larry Jangula. “We anticipate this will generate approximately $195,000 per year, which will go directly into new or enhanced tourism marketing programs to promote our region.”

Courtenay joins dozens of other communities across BC with hotel room taxes already in place, including Mount Washington Alpine Resort.

Jangula says the entire Comox Valley will benefit.

“Bringing more visitors to our area will benefit retail, restaurants, and much more. Our local economy will be the big winner here.”

Courtenay City Council endorsed the AHRT earlier this year following a presentation by John Watson, executive director of the CVEDS, along with representatives from various Courtenay hotels.

“Destination marketing is highly competitive,” said Watson. “The AHRT, coupled with new and expanded accommodation properties, enhanced attractions, key transportation links, and the Vancouver Island Visitor Centre, strongly positions the Comox Valley’s ability to influence the economic impact of that sector.”

Dave Petryk, president and CEO of Tourism Vancouver Island, noted the addition of a room tax has been beneficial for other island communities.

“Tourism Vancouver Island has supported and worked with several communities in the Vancouver Island region that have been successful in implementing the two-per-cent additional room tax and we have seen the benefits that it brings in promoting the community,” he said. “The incremental revenue derived from this tax will enable the Comox Valley to become more engaged in destination marketing that will benefit the entire community.”

The funds will be used for a variety of new and enhanced initiatives including multi-media marketing strategies, media outreach, and research and product development including marketing to event, sport and conference organizers.

— City of Courtenay

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