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Sunday , 26 September 2021

Additional relief for Alberta’s tourism industry

It’s tourism week in Alberta.

Alberta’s tourism industry is a major part of our economy and has been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic. Tourism businesses are mostly local small businesses that provide good jobs in our communities and inject billions of dollars a year into our economy.

Alberta’s government is now allowing accommodation providers to keep the tourism levy amounts they collect for an additional three months.

To ensure money stays in the pockets of Alberta’s job creators, hotels and other lodging providers will be able to keep tourism levy amounts collected between April 1 and June 30.

This three-month extension of the abatement period, which originally ended on March 31, will free up to $8 million in additional cash flow for the sector to employ staff, continue operations and provide valuable services through the spring and summer seasons.

An estimated $36 million in capital was freed up for the sector over the course of the original 13-month abatement period.

“We’ve been listening to accommodation providers across the province, and they’re telling us that they are still struggling,” Doug Schweitzer, Minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation said. “With the vaccination rollout well underway there is hope on the horizon, but the reality is that COVID-19’s impact on our tourism industry is still being felt. That’s why we are taking action to ensure our tourism job creators have the support they need now to get to the other side of this pandemic and help our economy recover.”

Short-term rental hosts that list their properties on online marketplaces like Airbnb and Vrbo and began collecting the tourism levy on April 1 will also be eligible to keep tourism levy amounts collected during the latest three-month abatement period.

“As Alberta businesses continue to face extreme challenges, we will continue to provide meaningful support,” Travis Toews, President of Treasury Board and Minister of Finance said. “The tourism levy abatement has been an effective way to offer lodging providers additional cash flow during the pandemic and the government is pleased to extend it further. Leaving money in the hands of employers in the struggling tourism industry will help them retain staff and continue operating at a time of great need.”

Hotels, short-term rental hosts and other lodging providers that have already remitted tourism levy amounts collected on or after April 1 will receive a refund from Alberta’s Tax and Revenue Administration.

Businesses are still required to file returns as per the Tourism Levy Act and will be expected to resume regular tourism levy payments on amounts collected on or after July 1.

For more information, visit alberta.ca/tourism-levy.

With the May 26 extension, the total abatement period will run from March 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021.

 

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About Arthur C. Green

Arthur C. Green is from Whitbourne Newfoundland and graduated from the CNA Journalism Program. Arthur also studied Business Marketing and Political Science at Memorial University in Essex England and St. John's Newfoundland. Green has worked for such organizations as CBC, CBC Radio, NTV, Saltwire, Great West Media, CKLB Radio, Vista Radio, and Postmedia. He also loves Jiggs Dinner!