B.C. tourism group supports 10% HST

The Tourism Industry Association of B.C. has struggled with the impact of the harmonized sales tax, but supports it at a reduced rate.

Crowds gathered in downtown Vancouver for the 2010 Olympics

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 have been relieved to see that domestic consumer confidence has begun to trend in a positive direction.

We are very 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.

The provincial government has listened to British Columbians and we are confident they are earnest in their commitments to reduce consumer costs and help impacted sectors like tourism grow into the future.

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.

Vancouver

Just Posted

Slocan Valley to be ‘lit up’ with high-speed internet in 12 months

125 kilometres of fibre-optic cable to be laid from Nakusp to Playmore Junction

Vigil re-affirms belief in peace, acceptance in wake of New Zealand massacre

Nearly 100 show up for solemn event at Mir Centre for Peace

Police bust drug operation in Castlegar

Man charged, will go to court in August

Zoning mix-up nixes Shoreacres property sale

Man says the RDCK’s listings online don’t match his property’s official zoning

Castlegar coach receives Basketball BC honour

Cheryl Closkey recognized for 50 years of volunteering

Sparks fly as SUV speeds down wrong side of Highway 1 trying to flee RCMP

Captured on video, the vehicle headed westbound against oncoming traffic before crashing

Calgary captain has 3 points as Flames torch Canucks 3-1

Giordano leads way as Alberta side cracks 100-point plateau

1,300 cruise ship passengers rescued by helicopter amid storm off Norway’s coast

Rescue teams with helicopters and boats were sent to evacuate the cruise ship under extremely difficult circumstances

B.C. university to offer first graduate program on mindfulness in Canada

University of the Fraser Valley says the mostly-online program focuses on self-care and well being

Province announces $18.6 million for B.C. Search and Rescue

The funding, spread over three years, to pay for operations, equipment, and training

Late-season wave of the flu makes its round in B.C.

BC Centre for Disease Control reported 50 per cent jump in flu cases in first weeks of March

Tofino’s housing crisis causing some to seek shelter at the local hospital

Tofino’s housing crisis is pushing the town’s ‘hidden homeless’ population into the forefront.

Sentencing judge in Broncos crash calls for carnage on highways to end

Judge Inez Cardinal sentenced Jaskirat Singh Sidhu to eight years

2 fires in Victoria caused by cigarettes prompts warning from deputy fire chief

Two separate fires caused by cigarette butts were avoidable

Most Read