The provincial government’s “tourist tax credit” is now in effect for Ontarians planning trips to the province this year.
Announced on November 4, the credit aims to boost local businesses by offering people who book overnight stays in Ontario anytime in 2022 a 20% return on accommodation costs of up to $ 1,000 per person or $ 2,000. by family.
Some companies have lauded the incentive – which amounts to a maximum return of $ 200 per person or $ 400 per family – saying they hope it can help those hardest hit during COVID-19 restrictions.
“Everyone suffered,” said Renda Abdo, owner of Lakeside Motel in Prince Edward County, about 200 kilometers northeast of Toronto. “People are still not sure whether they are traveling by plane and too far from home, so I think now is the perfect time.”
Geoffrey Wild, owner of The Wild Tart bakery in Elora, just northwest of Guelph, said the credit could help boost local tourism, which would help various businesses.
“The recent [Omicron] variant, the virus, things like that remind us that it’s good that we can travel locally, travel in our province, ”he said.
Too late for some
But for some, credit comes too late.
“They should have introduced it a long time ago,” said Barry Choi, creator of Moneywehave.com, a blog on personal finance and budget travel. “[Businesses] I could have used those dollars in 2021 when things were really bad. ”
Choi said he and his family have traveled to Ontario before, having just returned home to Toronto after a trip to Ottawa.
“I will be looking to travel outside of Canada,” he said. “And I can think of a lot of people who are in the same boat.”
In October, Canada lifted a general advisory that had been in place since March 2020 against all non-essential travel outside the country.
More recently, to prevent travel-related infections amid the growing number of cases and spread of the omicron variant of the coronavirus, the federal government has advised Canadians to avoid all non-essential international travel.
“This province is the same size as many countries”
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) has said it supports the Ontario travel tax credit in 2022.
“It makes sense to postpone it to a time when Ontarians can enjoy it comfortably and with confidence,” said Ryan Mallough, senior director of provincial affairs for Ontario at CFIB.
Wild said Ontario offers something new to see, even for those who have explored the province before.
“To anyone who says, ‘I spent my travel money in Ontario’, my God, this province is the same size as many countries,” he said. “So you can’t tell me you’ve made your whole trip yet.” ”
On its website, the provincial government states eligibility details, including that Ontarians can claim the Accommodation Expense Credit for “a [not business-related] stay of less than one month ”, in short-term accommodation, such as a: hotel, motel, resort, inn, bed and breakfast, cabin or campground.
The suspension must take place between January 1 and December 31, 2022, depending on the province, “regardless of the time of payment.”