Through April, tourism tax revenue on rise in Kamloops
Kamloops’ tourism numbers are right on track, according to the latest update from Tourism Kamloops.
The agency is reporting a four per cent increase in accommodation tax-revenue for the first four months of 2012, compared to the same time period in 2011.
“It’s on track with exactly what we were projecting,” said Tourism Kamloops CEO Lee Morris, who called the tax numbers “our truest measure of how many people are overnighting in the city.”
Last year, the city saw tax revenue jump by more than 16 per cent in the first quarter of 2011 and an overall increase of 10 per cent from 2010.
This year, Tourism Kamloops is forecasting a five per cent growth in revenue from the tax.
Morris said the agency chose to set a lower number for this year’s target.
“We felt it might be a bit more of a moderate year,” she said.
“So, tracking four per cent for year-to-date is good, it’s really good.”
The two per cent hotel room tax is collected from all hotels and motels in the city and helps Tourism Kamloops measure the number of business and leisure travelers coming into town.
Revenue from the tax, which adds up to about a million dollars each year, goes directly to Tourism Kamloops marketing efforts.
Morris said the increase is due to increased marketing in metro Vancouver and other parts of the province, as well as the continued strength of sports tourism in the city.
While the four month average works out to four per cent, Morris said the numbers also show a surprising spike in visitors this April. Compared to this time last year, revenue from that month jumped nearly 17 per cent.
Morris said several tournaments held around that time likely account for the jump.
While it’s too early for the agency to have an exactly count of summer travelers, Morris said reports so far suggest tourism is humming along in the Tournament Capital.
“What we’ve heard so far is that we’re doing quite well,” she said.
“Again, the tournaments are getting a good complement of people coming in. The leisure, family travel we’re hearing anecdotally that is working — that people are coming and using this place as a spot to vacation. So we’re fairly confident with the numbers.”