Local tourism would get a boost from Municipal Accommodation Tax

Guelph, Ont., January 27, 2022 – City of Guelph is recommending a Municipal Accommodation Tax for stays in hotels, bed and breakfasts and shared accommodations (e.g., Airbnb). The four per cent charge would generate an estimated $500,000 to $950,000 in revenue each year to support new tourism initiatives, visitor attraction and infrastructure improvements in the community. City staff will present the recommendation to the Committee of the Whole on Monday, February 7.

Through a staff report, the City recommends:

  • Implementing a four per cent tax starting September 1, 2022
  • Negotiating a five-year agreement with the Guelph Chamber of Commerce as the tourism entity helping with tourism promotion and marketing
  • Creating a reserve account to hold the money generated from the tax
  • Requesting start-up funding of up to $1 million in advance of Municipal Accommodation Tax revenues being collected to begin tourism activities and programming, with monies being repaid to the reserve account within five years

“By re-investing money earned through tourism back into the industry locally we can support more tourism-related infrastructure and programs that make visitor experiences even better,” says Cathy Masterson, manager of Tourism and Destination Development. “The accommodation tax will also help local businesses recover from the long-term negative economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic by supporting events, festivals, sports, restaurants, retail and other services, without an increase to property taxes.”

The tax would add about $4 to $7 per night for accommodation stays. Municipal accommodation taxes are in place in many municipalities in Ontario including Cambridge, Kitchener, Waterloo, Kingston, Barrie and Toronto.

Staff recommends that half the tax revenues be used by the City for new and enhanced tourism development. The remaining half would be provided to the Guelph Chamber of Commerce for tourism promotion as required by the Municipal Act, 2001.

Based on stakeholder engagement conducted throughout 2018, 2019 and 2021, Guelph’s tourism and accommodation business community supports the implementation and impact of a Municipal Accommodation Tax.

Delegate to Committee of the Whole

Members of the public can delegate or submit written comments about the Municipal Accommodation Tax by registering online or submitting their feedback in writing to the City Clerk’s office at [email protected] by 10 a.m. on Friday, February 4.

Following the Committee of the Whole meeting, the Municipal Accommodation Tax will go to Council for final deliberation on February 24. If approved, the tax would go into effect on September 1, 2022.

Media contact

Cathy Masterson, Manager, Tourism and Destination Development
Economic Development and Tourism
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2833
[email protected]