Tourism sector supports HST with new reduction

It’s no secret that the tourism industry in B.C. has struggled with how to respond to the harmonized sales tax.

To the Editor,

It’s no secret that the tourism industry in B.C. has struggled with how to respond to the harmonized sales tax. However, in light of the proposed two-per-cent reduction, it is clear to the Tourism Industry Association of B.C. that the HST will be good for B.C.’s tourism economy in the long run.

This was not black or white for us. As soon as the new HST was announced our association, which represents all of the major tourism industries in B.C., immediately began work, not to oppose the new tax, but to identify and implement ways to mitigate the effects of the tax on our sector.

Part of our challenge was that the impacts of the new harmonized tax were different for different parts of tourism both by business type and by location: hotel prices went down, the cost of restaurant meals went up, and businesses closer to Alberta, which does not have a provincial sales tax, were particularly sensitive to HST.

Like other concerned sectors of the B.C. economy, we noted decreased consumer confidence around the time HST was implemented in B.C. and Ontario in July 2010. This occurred in the early recovery period after a recession.

We are pleased that the provincial government has promised to reduce the HST by two per cent and is actively championing improvements to a federal visitor rebate program that will encourage foreign buyers to choose Canada and B.C.

We now share the growing concern of the broader business community over the uncertainty and considerable financial difficulties that a move back to the old PST-GST system would create for B.C.

Now is not the time to take a backwards course. A 10 per cent HST is the way forward for tourism in B.C.

Stephen Regan, president,

Tourism Industry Association of B.C.

Just Posted

Vancouver measles outbreak prompts vaccine vigilance on Island

No cases here yet, but Island health authorities push measles vaccinations - and not just for kids

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

Battle of the Bands winner set to perform at Char’s Landing

Sean Lyons is a singer-songwriter originally from Port Alberni

Port Alberni sends large contingent of athletes to Special Olympics Winter Games

Veteran curler Simone Myers dreams of gold in her seventh provincials

Steelhead LNG stops work on Kwispaa LNG project near Bamfield

Huu-ay-aht First Nations ‘deeply disappointed; Steelhead says funding is the problem

‘Riya was a dreamer’: Mother of slain 11-year-old Ontario girl heartbroken

Her father, Roopesh Rajkumar, 41, was arrested some 130 kilometres away

Market volatility, mortgages loom over upcoming earnings of Canada’s big banks

Central bank interest hikes have padded the banks’ net interest margins

Hearings into SNC-Lavalin affair start today, but not with Wilson-Raybould

She has repeatedly cited solicitor-client privilege to refuse all comment

VIDEO: 8 things you need to know about the 2019 B.C. budget

Surplus of $247 million with spending on children, affordability and infrastructure

Tilray to acquire hemp food company Manitoba Harvest for up to $419 million

Tilray will pay $150 million in cash and $127.5 million in stock.

Tears, flowers at impromptu memorial for Syrian children killed in Halifax fire

The family had only lived in the Quartz Drive home for a few months

NDP candidates push for stronger climate action as Singh supports LNG Canada

Singh has tried to project unity in the party while facing internal criticism for poor fundraising and low support in the polls

‘Bullet missed me by an inch’: Man recounts friend’s killing at Kamloops hotel

Penticton man witnessed Summerland resident Rex Gill’s murder in Kamloops

B.C. BUDGET: Income assistance raise still leaves many below poverty line

$50 per month increase included in funding for poverty and homelessness reduction

Most Read