Tourism association calling for overnight levy

Christopher Gooding
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SPRINGHILL – The Town of Springhill is considering joining the growing ranks in favour of a tourism levy.  

Nova Construction presently operates the Pioneer Coal Mine in Stellarton, an open surface mine and the only operational coalmine left in the province. Springhill Mayor Max SNow has learned the company is conducting a feasibilit study on potential coal mining in Springhill.

Central Nova Tourist Association [CNTA] executive director Joyce Mingo made the case for the fee, which would be charged through businesses offering overnight accommodations, saying the money generated would provide CNTA with the money it needs to provide destination marketing and create a fund to support local festivals and events that draw tourists.

“A marketing levy is new money,” Mingo said at Tuesday’s council meeting. “New money that would be specifically for marketing.”

Based on 2012 statistics, CNTA stands to collect $300,000 from local motels, hotels and bed and breakfasts if it charges a $2 levy on each room, per night stay. 80 per cent of that money would be used for marketing and the remaining 20 per cent would go towards special events.

Both Cape Breton and the Halifax Regional Municipality collect levies and the resulting television ads promoting tourism have been working, Mingo said.

CNTA has called on municipal governments to adopt a resolution in support of the levy and then, later, enact a bylaw enforcing the levy. The towns and municipalities would be responsible for collecting the levy from businesses within their jurisdiction and then direct the funds to CNTA.

According to Mingo Truro, Oxford, Amherst and Stellarton are some of the municipalities that have already adopted the resolution.

The levy has yet to receive assent from the provincial government.

Council will address CNTA’s request at its February meeting. 

Organizations: CNTA, Nova Tourist Association, Halifax Regional Municipality

Geographic location: Cape Breton, Oxford, Stellarton

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Recent comments

  • Dannie Wilson
    January 30, 2014 - 09:24

    Nova Scotia is one of the most expensive provinces to stay overnight or for a week. Amherst is already the most expensive place to stay. I travel to N.S., PEI and NB every year doing a driveing holiday and of all the places I stay Nova Scotia is the most expensive and in Nova Scotia Amherst is now the most expensive. So much so we no longer stay in Amherst overnight. I think a further tax will make matters worse for NS not better.

  • Doug Letcher
    January 29, 2014 - 21:23

    Just what we knead to shove the prices of lodgeing higher .. We have lost the tourist do to such ..everything is taxed to death and now you wont a bit extra ...It is always just a couple bucks ...... Cities and larger areas draw people and the cost of Lodgeing is out of reach or for the every day man . But rural areas are starving for customers .. Look around during the summer months most torism is Canadians comeing home for a visit staying with friends and family ..Why the cant aford the high Lodging and food costs we seem to think If we can gouge every sent out of the torist in the summer , then we can lay back during the winter and Live off the profit ..It just not working ... O the cities will survive .... but the small guy won't .. We have much to offer here for people to visit ..but at 15 % tax . and another just $ 2 bucks and our food prices not to mention Gas .. Just think about it the Lower Canadian dallar may help but it wont bring back what we lost .... It wont bring back the torist that once came here as it was beautiful , pieceful and reasonable cost ..They all went home the past 20 years telling there friends how costly it was .. Yes they might visit or plan once to visit but they dont come back year after year like they had ... Why ..ya just keep thinking add a buck or two ... Simply get your prices in line and give them something to come for throught the seasons and not just try to gouge a living in the summer ... You have cut your own throat . The US is a beautiful place and even with the low Canadian dallar it is very much cheeper to travel there. Just become more competitive and think accordinly . Work on extending the touris season .. You mention Cape Britton ..just try to find lodging in Badeck and outer areas for a reservation today /// If you can find a spot open . Sorry for the spellings ...

  • Fuzzy Bear
    January 29, 2014 - 10:53

    Lets face it...$2 in any governments (regardless of what level it is) eyes is candy. It will not be long before they figure out how to get their incompetent greedy hands on this sweet prize. Programs such as this start out with honorable and sometimes valuable intentions and then become just another input to the enormous trough of $$$ all governments wallow around in every day. In a few years the CNTA (if they haven't been disbanded and relieved of their windfall) will say whaaaaaa happened ...our money is gone!!! If you have a business do your own marketing and be responsible for it or expect to go down the same path as the dodo bird!

  • noodle
    January 29, 2014 - 10:16

    Why should visitors who've already come here and are already contributing to our tourism by spending their money for our goods and services be penalized by having to pay an extra $2 per night. Nice way to show our gratitude...not! This levy is just a lazy way of generating marketing dollars, which is ironic given that successful marketing usually involves creative thinking.

  • Doup P.
    January 29, 2014 - 09:47

    "Levy" is kinder way of meaning tax and they want the government to confiscate it. The hotel operators know how to market their product, they certainly don't need that money drained away by bureaucrats who want to feel important and pretend they are experts in marketing on their behalf.

  • Jack on the Rocks
    January 29, 2014 - 09:46

    I didn't realize Springhill had Hotels and B&B's...

    January 29, 2014 - 08:44

    It might be only 2 dollars to you and not very much money but to the people staying in the rooms it is just another tax grab. Ask PEI how they are making out with the extra tax on accommodations? You can only push consumers so far then then get fed up with taxes and more taxes. You can only tax so far then you must start thinking of other ways besides just raising prices over and over. Tourism is down in PEI and they are shaking their heads trying to understand why, Don't make the same mistakes.