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

Castlegar pastors find life in wheelchair a challenge

The men found the obstacles were both physical and mental.

Columbia Avenue paving scheduled for weekend

Paving on Castlegar’s main thoroughfare will take place in a few days, weather permitting.

Tour company plans shuttle service to Kelowna for stranded travellers

SMT Kootenay wants to help travellers get in and out of ‘Cancelgar’ in winter months

Castlegar library offering free radon detectors

Radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer and Castlegar has one of the highest levels in B.C.

PLACE NAMES: Cancelgar

Reliability issues at the regional airport resulted in a creative if unflattering nickname

Josie Hotel will be ready on opening day, says management

West Kootenay’s first ski-in, ski-out boutique hotel to open this month

Canada defeats Germany 29-10 in repechage, moves step closer to Rugby World Cup

Hong Kong needs a bonus-point win over Canada — scoring four or more tries — while denying the Canadians a bonus point

Avalanche Canada in desperate need of funding

The organization provides avalanche forecasting for an area larger than the United Kingdom

5 B.C. cities break temperature records

Parts of B.C. remain warm, at 10 C, while others feeling chilly

B.C. teacher’s Amazing Race takes students on Canada-wide adventure

Agassiz high school students say they had the experience of a life time

Don’t sign USMCA until LGBTQ language excised, U.S. lawmakers urge Trump

The trade agreement, forged after 13 months of tense negotiations between Canada and the U.S. is scheduled for Nov. 30

US official: US intel says prince ordered Khashoggi killing

Vice-President Mike Pence told reporters that ‘the murder of Jamal Khashoggi was an atrocity.’

Canada’s health system commendable overall but barriers to care remain: UN

The United Nations says Canada’s health care system is “commendable” overall but vulnerable groups still face barriers to quality care.

Most Read