Revelstoke’s annual Municipal and Regional District Tax, collected on traditional short-term accommodation, like motel rooms, is spent on various local initiatives, largely to promote Revelstoke as a destination. Tourism Revelstoke photo

Tourism Talks: A closer look at the visitor accommodation tax

Collected dollars have a big impact

In 1987, BC instituted the Municipal and Regional District Tax (MRDT) with the goal of funding tourism marketing programs and projects. The tax is collected on traditional short-term accommodation (i.e. hotel rooms) and comes directly from our visitors. Currently, Revelstoke accommodators collect 2 per cent on all stays, and that money goes into a pool that is administered by Tourism Revelstoke.

In order to be eligible to collect the MRDT, communities go through a rigorous application process with the province. Revelstoke has been collecting the MRDT since May of 2008. In our first full year of collection, Revelstoke received $289,348 in MRDT. Since then, annual MRDT revenues have seen a total increase of 167 per cent.

Where does Revelstoke’s Annual MRDT go?

Revelstoke’s annual MRDT is spent on various initiatives. The largest portion, approximately $500,000, goes into marketing initiatives for Revelstoke. This includes, but is not limited to, digital marketing (i.e Facebook ads, Google Ads, content creation), traditional marketing (i.e billboards, print ads), and media recruitment and hosting (i.e Vogue, Forbes, Amazing Race Canada).

Other initiatives include:

• $100,000 goes into a fund for affordable housing projects through the City of Revelstoke;

• $80,000 towards access to Revelstoke and transportation within Revestoke, including the resort shuttle; and

• $85,000 towards supporting the Visitor Information Centre.

The final $200,000 goes into supporting other non-profits and community events, including locally produced events like the Summer Street Fest, Luna and Timber Days, and external events like the Trans Selkirks running race. Some funding goes towards assisting local non-profits, such as the Revelstoke Snowmobile Club, Golf Club and Cycling Association, to help promote recreation activities.

Finally, the MRDT is directly tied into the RMI (Resort Municipality Initiative).

The more MRDT that the accommodators collect, the more money comes back from the government for infrastructure initiatives. Stay tuned… we’ll dive into that in next month’s tourism talks.

To read previous Tourism Talks columns, check out seerevelstoke.com/tourism-talks/

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