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

Victoria Beer Week celebrates ‘five years of cheers’

Nine day craft beer festival delves into home brew workshops, food pairings, and a road trip to Sooke

Transit open houses on better Peninsula bus service

SIDNEY — Improved BC Transit services to West Sidney and to the… Continue reading

Victoria Orchid Society hosts 30th annual show

Orchids in full bloom March 3 and 4 at Our Lady of Fatima Hall

Free public lecture timed with scientific meeting in Sidney

Oceanographer Gregory Johnson speaks on the robots that monitor ocean temperature and salinity

Victoria playing host to regional farm market conference

Food industry experts to attend three-day networking event, which is open to the public

The 2018 B.C. Games wrap up in Kamloops

The B.C. Winter Games comes to a close after a weekend of fun and excitment

Naval ship spills 30,000 litres of fuel in the Strait of Georgia

HMCS Calgary spilled fuel east of Nanaimo and Parksville on Saturday

Student Voice: Phones in school a tool for learning or weapon of mass distraction?

Spectrum student questions role of smart phones in school

Library’s French collection gets $15,000 boost

Provincial grant adds extra French-language materials to Greater Victoria Public Library collection

Spectrum to stage Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

Students having fun with laughs in Broadway musical

B.C. boosts support for former youth in government care

More support coming for rent, child care and health care while they go back to school

Saanich skater golden at B.C. Winter Games

Desiree Grubell takes gold, Emily Walzak silver in Special Olympics figure skating.

SMUS stages Catch Me If You Can, the true tale of a con-artist

Musical follows tales of impersonator Frank Abagnale Jr.

B.C. VIEWS: Our not-so-New Democrats don’t rock the boat

Finance Minister Carole James takes the wheel, steers similar course

Most Read