Levy would support tourism marketing
AMHERST- The Central Nova Tourist Association is asking Amherst to support a marketing levy on hotel room bookings across the region.
Speaking to Amherst council's committee-of-the-whole meeting on Monday, Joyce Mingo said the money collected would be used to promote the Fundy and Northumberland shores and help with special events.
"A marketing levy would help promote central Nova Scoria as a premier tourist destination," she said.
The $2 fee would only be collected in hotels and motels with more than 10 rooms.
Mingo said a flat rate was chosen over a percentage to make it easier for operators.
Based on 2012 occupancy rates, the levy would raise about $300,000, of which 20 per cent would be allocated for special events sponsorship.
She said marketing levies are becoming more common, adding Halifax, Cape Breton and Pictou-Antigonish and other areas either have one or are in the process of putting one in place.
A marketing levy advisory committee would oversee the use of the money and include representatives from the accommodations sector, industry stakeholders and municipal officials.
She's hoping to get resolutions of support from area municipalities before Christmas and wants to go to the province in the spring to have legislation in place giving municipalities the power to pass the necessary bylaws.
Mingo said most of the operators the CNTA has talked to are supportive of the measure. She said 15 of the 23 accommodations with 10 or more room have responded, with 11 indicating their support. Of the remainder, she said, most are interested by non-committal.
“These operators represent more than 56 per cent of the total number of rooms,” Mingo told council.