It’s been controversial over the past few years, but it looks like Nanaimo’s hotel industry is ready to accept a room tax to help fund tourism promotion.
The Nanaimo Hospitality Association, the City and the Nanaimo Economic Development Corporation (which runs Tourism Nanaimo) say they’ve got the support required by the province.
The City has to pass a bylaw, and the Ministry of Finance has to sign off before the 2 per cent tax is implemented. The City and NEDC are also planning to take a unique approach to how it gets used.
“I am very pleased that the new hotel tax has now been finalized”, says Nanaimo Mayor, John Ruttan. “The revenue collected will be used to help develop Nanaimo as a tourism destination and will include the creation of several new multi-day festivals while also supporting the Snuneymuxw First Nation with their plans to enhance the cultural and educational experience of Newcastle Island”.
Snuneymuxw Chief John Wesley likes that idea. In a joint statement about the tax he says, “Snuneymuxw is very grateful for the opportunity to make Newcastle Island a world class destination for tourism, the collaborative approach between the City, Nanaimo Hospitality Association and Snuneymuxw will enhance the adventure of Newcastle Island for locals along with the global sector”
Room taxes are already used to help fund tourism marketing in the Oceanside area, and the Sunshine Coast Tourism Association has plans to renew its effort to get a similar tax this year.