The Province of Alberta is trying to relieve some pressure on its struggling tourism industry in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A release from the provincial government states that hotels and other lodging providers will be allowed to hold onto all tourism levy amounts that were collected starting March 1.
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This measure will continue until December 31, according to the release, and free up between $16 and $27 million in cash flow to Alberta’s hospitality sector.
“Alberta’s tourism industry is a key contributor to our economy and it creates jobs and revenue that so many communities across our province depend on,” said Minister of Economic Development, Trade, and Tourism, Tanya Fir, in the release.
“We’re committed to providing industry the support it needs now so that it can recover and grow.”
The release states that Alberta’s hospitality sector employs around 30,000 Albertans.
Accommodation providers will still be expected to provide tourism levy payments as of 2021, and returns are expected to be filed through 2020.
“The tourism industry, and our accommodations providers, were dramatically and suddenly hard hit by the impacts of COVID-19,” said Travel Alberta CEO Royce Chwin in the release.
“These businesses play a critical role in the traveller experience and will be essential in the restart of Alberta’s visitor economy. Travel Alberta looks forward to working with our accommodations providers to rebuild the sector.”
Travel Alberta and the Province of Alberta are currently working together to develop a 10-year tourism strategy, which will now include plans for rebuilding following the coronavirus pandemic.