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March 21, 2017, 1:08 pm

Richmond Gets New Funding for Tourism Marketing

City of Richmond

RICHMOND - Tourism in Richmond will get a financial boost on July 1, 2017 with the introduction of a 3% hotel room tax, an increase from the current 2% rate. The new tax rate was jointly agreed to by the City of Richmond, Tourism Richmond and the Richmond Hotel Association and will fund new initiatives promoting Richmond as a tourist destination.

The City of Richmond has been partnering with Tourism Richmond and the Richmond Hotel Association to implement a new tourism development model with investments in destination product development and destination marketing.

The new hotel tax agreement runs for five years and is expected to generate in excess of $21 million over its duration. The money generated from the hotel tax will support:

  • destination marketing by Tourism Richmond;
  • the Richmond Sport Hosting Program;
  • destination enhancements for the Olympic Experience at the Richmond Olympic Oval and Britannia Shipyards National Historic Site; and
  • tourism product development and sales by the Richmond Hotel Association.

Richmond is a growing tourism centre with 23 hotels offering 4,500 rooms. Richmond hotel revenues registered an all-time high of $186 million in 2016, a 12% increase over 2015. Richmond had the highest hotel occupancy in Canada, at 83% as of November 2016.

The Municipal and Regional District Tax (MRDT) is legislated under the Provincial Sales Tax Act and jointly administered by the B.C. Ministry of Finance, the B.C. Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Destination British Columbia. The tax can be up to 3% and is applied to sales of accommodation in participating areas of British Columbia.

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