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Guelph city council to decide on accommodation tax that could boost tourism


City of Guelph staff are recommending that council approve an accommodation tax for visitors paying to stay in the city at places such as hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts and Airbnbs.

A report going to city council on Feb. 7 states the four-per cent charge would cost guests an extra $4-7 per night but could generate up to $950,000 in revenue each year.

That money would then be flipped towards new tourism initiatives and visitor attractions along with infrastructure improvements.

“By re-investing money earned through tourism back into the industry locally we can support more tourism-related infrastructure and programs that make visitor experiences even better,” said the city’s manager of tourism, Cathy Masterson.

“The accommodation tax will also help local businesses recover from the long-term negative economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic by supporting events, festivals, sports, restaurants, retail and other services, without an increase to property taxes.”

Similar taxes are already in place throughout Ontario including in Cambridge, Kitchener, Waterloo, Kingston, Barrie and Toronto.

The report going to city council recommends implementing the tax starting on Sept. 1.

It also asks the mayor and councillors to approve funding of up to $1 million to begin tourism activities and programming, with that money being repaid to the tourism account within five years.

After the Feb. 4 meeting, the recommendations will go back to council on Feb. 24 for final deliberations.

The report can be found on the city’s website.


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