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Tourism Industry Needs More Marketing Money

News Release

Tourism Industry Needs More Marketing Money

(Friday, August 18/2000)-- Mayor Walter Fitzgerald says the tourism industry in the Halifax Regional Municipality needs more marketing money and a hotel room tax might be the best way to raise it.

Mayor Fitzgerald said HRM has been working with the local tourism industry to make optimal use of available resources to promote the region. However, more money must be spent on marketing to attract more visitors to the region.

The Mayor said "There is strong evidence that the dollars being spent on marketing are insufficient, compared to our competitors. One opportunity to finance an enhanced program is through a hotel room tax."

Hotel room taxes are becoming more common in larger cities, such as Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa and St. John's. The tax varies from a flat room levy, such as $2 per room night, to a percentage of the room rate, usually one or two per cent. Revenue collected is often used for destination marketing or other tourism initiatives.

Mayor Fitzgerald has asked the Province of Nova Scotia to consider legislative changes that would allow HRM to implement a hotel room tax. HRM and the Hotel Association of Nova Scotia have been working together to determine the best approach to implementing the tax.

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Mayor Walter Fitzgerald
(902) 490-6531