Authority for Urban Municipalities to Establish Destination Marketing Fees
Therefore be it resolved that the SUMA request that the provincial government establish a Provincial Destination Marketing Fee on hotel stays or grant authority to urban municipalities to impose such a fee in their individual jurisdictions.
The Regina and Saskatoon hotel associations have implemented a successful voluntary approach to the collection destination marketing fees to be used to encourage tourism. This voluntary approach is similar to what is found in some other jurisdictions and allows the tourism industry to direct funds to projects it deems important. Industry members are more receptive to the voluntary approach and prefer it over a legislated destination marketing fee. The challenge with this approach is ensuring all hotels and motels participate and contribute the funds to the purpose for which they are collected. Having the destination marketing fee as voluntary, and administered by the hotel associations and tourism bureaus, directs the revenue to the industry rather than government accounts; otherwise it is essentially a municipal tax. This allows the respective industry associations to target funds to projects they view as beneficial to their industry. Before municipal authority for destination marketing fees could become legislation government would need to conduct extensive consultations with all concerned parties. Municipal authority could ultimately pre-empt voluntary industry initiatives. Municipal authority might need to be accompanied by a requirement that revenues be expended on tourism marketing activities.