Parksville Qualicum Beach Tourism Association looks to renew hotel tax

Visitors to the region spent more than $102 million in 2012

The hotel room tax accounts for 60 per cent of the Parksville Qualicum Beach Tourism Association’s (PQBTA) budget and it’s time to renew it.

Executive director Blain Sepos told Parksville council the renamed two-per-cent Municipal Regional District Tax has been a crucial part of their funding formula since it was established in the late 1990s.

Sepos told The NEWS that visitors spent $104 million in the area in 2012 and that was direct spending on accommodation, food, attractions and shopping and doesn’t include the “multiplier effect.”

He said various sources estimate the multiplier effect, or wider impact on the economy, anywhere from two to seven times the actual dollars spent, and since this is a heavily-tourism-oriented economy, the effect here is likely on the higher end.

The official number of hotels stay so far this year are flat, unchanged from last year, Sepos said, but that is complicated by the switch from the HST back to the PST, and he said anecdotally most hotel managers are telling him numbers are up considerably.

The PQBTA is required to get the support of more than 50 per cent of the region’s hotels, plus the municipalities, to renew the two per cent room tax. Parksville council unanimously supported the tax. Qualicum Beach council did the same Monday.