Accommodation tax to fund tourism promotion in Boundary Country
In a media release, the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) said it has received Ministry of Finance approval to collect a two percent Municipal Regional District Tax (MRDT) within electoral areas C/Christina Lake, D/Rural Grand Forks and E/West Boundary, as well as in Grand Forks, Greenwood and Midway.
The tax will fund local tourism marketing, programs and projects within Boundary Country.
The MRDT, often referred to as the hotel tax, is an up to three percent tax applied to sales of short-term accommodation provided in participating areas of British Columbia on behalf of municipalities, regional districts and eligible entities. The tax is intended to help grow BC revenues, visitation and jobs, and amplify BC’s tourism marketing efforts in an increasingly competitive marketplace.
“We’ll now have the funds to tell people what Boundary Country has to offer year-round so they’re excited to come here to visit, rent accommodation, eat in our restaurants and do all those things tourists do to support economic growth,” said Grace McGregor, chair of the Boundary Economic Development Committee and electoral area director for Area ‘C’/Christina lake.
The RDKB has partnered with the Boundary Museum Society who will promote Boundary Country as a tourism destination in BC. One aim is to increase bed stays in the region, with a focus on the shoulder season. To achieve that, the Society will review and refine print and digital marketing materials and collaborate with surrounding tourism associations including the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association and Destination BC.
“Our local businesses and tourism partners have done a great job promoting the beautiful place we live and work. The ability to collect the MRDT in three more electoral areas and another three municipalities in the Kootenay Boundary is key to boosting the local economies in our urban and rural communities,” said Roly Russell, chair of the RDKB Board of Directors and electoral area director for Area ‘D’/Rural Grand Forks.
Boundary Country is the collection of small hamlets and growing towns from Paulson Summit in the east to Bridesville in the west and Big White in the north. It includes Christina Lake, Grand Forks, Greenwood, Midway, Rock Creek, Bridesville, Westbridge, Beaverdell, Christian Valley, Baldy Mountain and Big White. Big White is the only Boundary Country community that had already enrolled in the MRDT before 2018.
The MRDT is jointly administered by the Minister of Finance, the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Destination British Columbia. More information on the MRDT is available at destinationbc.ca.