Proposed ‘hotel tax’ to help Kingston tourism industry
A hotel night in Kingston could soon cost more. City council is considering imposing a mandatory new tax on “all” overnight stays.
It would be a four per cent tax that would be charged to all rooms at hotels, motels and B&Bs. There are more than 50 businesses offering overnight stays that would have to charge it.
“The tax is actually charged to the visitor, it’s not charged to the business,” says Lanie Hurdle, the commissioner of community services.
“So when a visitor comes in and rents a room, there’s a four per cent tax that’s added on.”
Kingston city officials estimate the new tax would raise just over $3 million a year. Money, the city says, would go to fund Tourism Kingston, while some of it would go to Kingston Accommodation Partners, all to promote the city as a tourist destination.
“I think it’s a great opportunity for Kingston to really go to the next level for tourism,” says Rob Kawamoto, executive director of Tourism Kingston.
“I think there’s a lot of opportunity here for us to examine the potential to promote our designation on a larger scale, more to the international markets and into the U.S., and to keep up with our competitors in Montreal and Toronto.”
Tourism accounts for close to 7,500 jobs locally, with an estimated economic impact of nearly a $1 billion a year.
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