Tax renewal boosts local tourism and business in Richmond

16 March 2022

A recent Provincial approval for the renewal of the Municipal Regional District Tax (MRDT) will mean an important boost for the local economy and recovery of the tourism sector in Richmond.

The MRDT, often referred to as the Hotel Tax, is a three per cent charge on the purchase of accommodation within the City under the Municipal and Regional District Tax Program. The BC Ministry of Finance approves implementation and renewal of the tax, which has been in place for a number of years. It recently agreed to a five-year renewal through to 2027.

“As our local and provincial economy continues to recover from the pandemic, the renewal of the accommodation charge brings an added boost to many sectors in our community,” said Mayor Malcolm Brodie. “These funds will strengthen Richmond businesses, encourage the return of tourism and enable the City to continue to add more affordable housing options for the community.”

Around $25 million will come through the MRDT over the next five years to support and grow the visitor economy. Prior to the pandemic, there were over 19,000 tourism related jobs in Richmond. An estimated one million dollars will also come through bookings made via online accommodation platforms and be directed to support development of affordable housing in Richmond.

The majority of funds raised will support Tourism Richmond in its ongoing marketing, promotion and projects that target Richmond as a major tourist destination. It will also fund Richmond Sport Hosting to attract major tournaments and events to the City, as well as promote local destinations and programs to encourage visitors.

“The MRDT tourism partnership is a critical component to Richmond's successful and resilient visitor economy,” said Nancy Small, CEO of Tourism Richmond. “As our city looks to the future of travel in what will be an incredibly competitive environment, this funding continuation ensures our entire community benefits from a thriving visitor economy. We have a diverse and vibrant city, and the industry in Richmond will continue to work together to tell the stories that make us truly unique."

Key to the MRDT and its ongoing success in boosting local tourism, business and the economy is the support of the Richmond Hotel Association whose members collect and support the accommodation charge. Almost 90 per cent of Richmond accommodation providers supported the MRDT renewal application to the Province, which included a five-year tourism business plan.

“As the collective voice of hotels, The Richmond Hotel Association is proud to be a member of the Richmond tourism network, continuing to work with our partners Tourism Richmond, City of Richmond and Richmond Sport Hosting to ensure the recovery of our industry and long-term tourism growth,” said Steve Veinot, Chair of the Richmond Hotel Association.

Over the next five years, the City will continue to work closely with its tourism partners to support and grow the tourism economy and Richmond as a destination for the benefit of both residents and visitors.