Tourism Kelowna is currently supporting the City of Kelowna in renewing its 5-year agreement with the Province of British Columbia for funding through the province’s MRDT (Municipal and Regional District Tax) program. This is a lengthy application process that involves the development of an updated strategic plan, extensive consultation with business and community partners, and gathering letters of support from local accommodators, businesses, and the City of Kelowna.
What is MRDT?
In short, MRDT is a 3% tax, administered by the provincial government, on the sales of short-term accommodation in destinations like Kelowna to generate funding for local tourism marketing, programs, and projects. The tax is intended to help grow BC revenues, visitation, and jobs, and to amplify BC's tourism marketing efforts.
MRDT funds not only generate ongoing national and international demand for the Kelowna region, but also helps to secure conferences and major events, provide visitor services, and promote awareness of our local tourism and hospitality businesses. Tourism has been one of the hardest-hit industries during the global pandemic. Now more than ever, MRDT funding is needed to attract high-quality visitors back to our destination year-round, in order to ensure the economic recovery and long-term sustainability of our community.
Learn more about the provincial MRDT program here.
Where are you at with the MRDT Application?
We continue to work through the renewal application package in advance of the planned submission date in early fall. We have received strong support and have surpassed the minimum support required for renewal from local accommodators. We continue to schedule additional meetings to share information and gather further feedback. We appreciate the comments, questions, and submissions we have received so far, especially given the many extraordinary challenges our industry is currently experiencing. We know the timing of these consultations is especially challenging given labour shortages, increased operational requirements, and ongoing impact on your businesses from COVID-19 travel restrictions and provincial wildfires.
We anticipate a new agreement will be reviewed in early- to mid-2022 in time to be endorsed before the current agreement ends on July 1, 2022. The new agreement would extend the term through to July 1, 2027. We look forward to continuing our work on behalf of local tourism businesses and our destination to increase the positive economic impact resulting from those who visit in a way that also strengthens and increases the quality of life for those who live here.
For more information on the MRDT renewal application or to indicate your support, please visit Tourism Kelowna's website.