Hotel tax being eyed as part of West Kelowna tourism plan

  • Mar. 5, 2011 12:00 p.m.

Rooms looking lakeward at The Cove Lakeside Resort could fall under an additional hotel room tax

An additional hotel tax could find a home in West Kelowna as the district looks for ways to ensure the stability of tourism initiatives.

The levy is being examined as part of an overall tourism review in West Kelowna.

West Kelowna economic development officer John Perrott said the district needs to look at how to ensure continuity and provide support in the wake of Westside tourism being handed back to local governments from the Westbank and District Chamber of Commerce.

“How can we provide long-term viability?”

West Kelowna staff will be developing a tourism transition plan before the end of March.

Perrott said representatives at The Cove had shown interest in some type of hotel tax, but closer to a half or one per cent rather than an expected two per cent.

He noted the general concern about a hotel tax is the need to make sure the tax is equitable, as well as achieving some level of equality between hotels that have locations in both West Kelowna and Kelowna, such as the Holiday Inn.

“We just need a little more time to flesh that out…If they were to fund something, what would they fund, and (is there) confidence of that group to deliver.”

Perrott said a hotel room tax begins usually from the accommodators, and directs funds to a destination marketing organization, usually outlined in a formal agreement between the two.

The funds could be used as determined by such a marketing group, but Perrott added there is currently no such organization existing in West Kelowna.

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