Summerside increases hotel levy
Hotel owner concerned about price-conscious Summerside tourists
Summerside has increased its levy on hotel and motel room bookings to three per cent.
There are no guarantees but you're going to be in the game.- Duke Cormier, Tourism Summerside
The decision to raise the levy to three from two per cent was announced at city council Monday night. The increase puts Summerside in line with Charlottetown.
Tourism Summerside president Duke Cormier said this should raise around $45,000 more for marketing. Cormier said $25,000 of that will go to Meetings and Conventions PEI to try to book more events in Summerside, but Cormier says there are no guarantees.
"It's a start. Meetings and Conventions PEI has a million dollar budget," he said.
"I mean, for us to expect any promises from any marketing plan you spend $25,000 on, there are no guarantees but you're going to be in the game, and it's an opportunity to try to win some business."
Cormier said Tourism Summerside has asked the city to use some of the remaining $20,000 on an information package to help market the region as a good meetings destination.
Myles Clark, owner of Summerside's Sunny Isle Motel isn't happy about the increased levy.
"We're not the super-high-end hotels. We're trying to hit that niche market that's someone who's looking for good value and they're very, very price conscious," said Clark.
"If they come to us and say 'Well, we can go around the corner a five-minute drive and not have to pay the three per cent tax,' that's tough."
Clark said all Island accommodations should have to pay a three per cent levy, something the Tourism Association of P.E.I. is currently pushing for as well.