Home Rental industry Ontario will reimburse you up to $ 200 for travel within the province. Will that be enough to help rebuild a battered tourism industry?

Ontario will reimburse you up to $ 200 for travel within the province. Will that be enough to help rebuild a battered tourism industry?



Discover Ontario soon – at a reduced price.

Starting Jan. 1, new tax relief for Ontarians will allow local travelers to claim a 20% credit for most travel accommodation on their annual tax returns.

Ontario Tourist Tax Credit, first announced in November, offers credit up to $ 200 to individuals and $ 400 to families to boost the province’s battered tourism industry .

The credit will last until the end of 2022 and will apply to all rental accommodation, including hotels, motels, campgrounds, cabins and lodges.

This is a step in the right direction for an industry reeling from the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, said Tony Elenis, president of the Ontario Restaurant Hotel and Motel Association, but it is “absolutely not sufficient ”to put the sector back on its feet. feet.

“Restaurants and motels have closed since the COVID-19 hit. Those who stay are hanging by a thread, and they now owe bank and personal loans. We’re going to need more than a tax credit to solve this problem, ”he said.

Once the engine of the provincial economy, government restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19 have devastated businesses in the tourism sector. According to the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario, more than 60% of tourism businesses were recovering from revenue losses of more than 90% in June 2021.

Meanwhile, 70% of businesses have incurred debt of at least $ 50,000 to stay afloat, according to the tourism association.

Statistics Canada data shows that tourism-related industries lost 94,000 jobs between August 2019 and August 2021.

The province launched the tourism stimulus program in September, pledging $ 100 million to businesses that suffered a loss of at least 50% of their revenues in 2020-2021 compared to 2019. The credit for stay, a measure to help the sector, will cost the provincial treasury about $ 270 million.

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath previously told The Star the credit was not enough to boost travel to the province.

“This… $ 200. It’s really not going to help families much to go back there and start enjoying Ontario, ”she said.

But Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy said the credit “puts money back in the pockets of Ontario travelers and families when they choose to travel right here at home.”

Reimbursement is $ 200 for people who spend $ 1,000 or more on travel accommodation.

Those who spend less will be able to claim 20% of what they paid; a night’s stay in a $ 300 room per night at the Blue Mountain Resort, for example, will qualify for a $ 60 discount.

This is a “positive step,” the Canadian Federation of Independent Business said in a statement, although “more is needed to stimulate small business recovery.”

The tourism industry, which generated more than $ 36 billion in economic activity before the pandemic, began to recoup its losses before the Omicron variant of COVID-19 swept across the province, prompting Queen’s Park to reintroduce limits on the ability of business and Ottawa to tighten international border restrictions.

Ontario on Thursday recorded 13,807 new cases of COVID-19, a pandemic high, far exceeding the previous record set last Wednesday.

Many restaurants, bars and retailers have temporarily shut down as the variant spreads, while Queen’s Park and Ottawa have offered new financial grants to employees and independent businesses.

Ontario Tourism Industry Association president Chris Bloore said most tourism businesses depend on domestic travel for the bulk of their profits as international travel remains at a standstill.

“Domestic travel is an integral part of rebuilding our industry, so any effort to encourage Ontarians to get out and travel is encouraged,” said Bloore.

“But with the rise of Omicron, consumer confidence has collapsed again.”