- The launching of a non-profit organization focused on bringing tourists to southeastern New Brunswick is almost complete.
- On Monday, the Moncton council approved guidelines for how the organization would operate and distribute tax money.
The launch of a non-profit organisation aimed at attracting visitors to southeastern New Brunswick is nearing completion.
Moncton and Dieppe imposed a 3.5 per cent tax on hotel room bills in 2019. The funds will be used to support a destination marketing organization.
According to Jillian Somers, Moncton’s director of events and tourism, the major purpose is to promote visitation to Moncton, Dieppe, and southeastern New Brunswick in Ontario, Quebec, Atlantic Canada, and abroad. It will also try to entice conventions and group visits to the region.
In an interview, Somers said, “This is a fantastic week for the destination marketing group.”
Moncton council approved rules for how the corporation would run and how the tax money will be disbursed on Monday. The organization has also been given a board of directors.
It was one of the last stages before the organization, created by the cities and the Greater Moncton Hotel Association, could get down to business.
“This has been a long and sometimes tough path,” Ron Toogood, proprietor of the Coastal Inn in Dieppe and also one of the board members, told Moncton councillors Monday evening.
He congratulated the city and those who had worked for more than a decade to establish the organization.
Since September 2019, the hotel tax has been added to invoices, and $2.2 million has been collected in Moncton.
This is less than the $2.3 million to $2.7 million expected to be raised annually before the epidemic, which left many hotel rooms vacant for long periods.
“As you can guess, COVID had a huge impact on our city occupancy rates,” Somers added. “As a result, we’re looking forward to recovering as part of this, as well as seeing that fund grow.”
In Moncton and Dieppe, the tax applies to hotels, motels, hostels, inns, and other establishments with six or more rooms.
It does not apply to rooms used for emergency shelter or stays of more than 31 days. Exemptions apply to campgrounds and trailer parks.
Some of the funds will be returned to the City of Moncton to cover the tax and marketing organization’s administrative expenditures.
A chunk of the money will go to a Moncton committee attempting to attract “mega” events like concerts at Magnetic Hill or CFL football games.
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