Tourism in Vernon took a beating last year because of COVID restrictions

Big hit for tourism

It should come as no surprise the tourism sector took a beating in 2020.

And that means less money for the city through taxes.

"The tourism sector has been significantly impacted by the pandemic and associated travel restrictions," a report to Vernon City Council states.

According to city staff, room revenue and resulting Municipal Regional District Tax (MRDT) received until October 2020 are down 28.6 per cent compared to the same period last year.

“In discussions with accommodators, the spring was incredibly challenging, while the summer and fall were fairly strong considering the circumstances,” the report states.

“The activity was inconsistent with some accommodation providers doing well and others poorly. Since additional travel advisories were re-introduced in November 2020, administration is anticipating drastically reduced MRDT revenue through the winter.”

On April 1, 2020, the province announced that effective March 23, 2020, businesses were able to defer their provincial sales tax remittance, including the MRDT on accommodation, until Sept. 30, 2020.

As a result, the MRDT data for February through September 2020 does not reflect monthly actuals of accommodators in Vernon.

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