You’ve heard it many times before. Tourism is the hardest hit industry and will likely be the last to recover in a post-pandemic world. Recognizing the impact on the industry and the important role tourism plays in cities like Toronto, the Canadian and Ontario governments are stepping up with legislation aimed at supporting tourism recovery in 2022.
Here are key pieces of legislation you should be aware of as we close out 2021.
Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program
Last week, the federal government tabled Bill C-2 which included targeted support to tourism and hospitality businesses facing significant pandemic-related challenges in their recovery. If passed, financial support would be made available through the Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program which includes wage and rent subsidies.
The Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program details:
- Offers a subsidy rate of up to 75%
- Applies to organizations in a number of tourism and hospitality sectors, including (but not limited to): accommodations, food & beverage, travel agents, tour guides, museums, cinemas, charter bus services, amusement parks, ski hills, airports, industry associations. Full list of eligible businesses here.
- Businesses must have experienced:
- An average monthly revenue reduction of at least 40% over the first 13 qualifying periods for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (12-month revenue decline);
- AND a current-month revenue loss of at least 40% (the rules applicable under the previous wage and rent subsidy programs would continue to apply for the purposes of calculating the current-month revenue decline).
Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Program
Also part of Bill C-2 is the Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Program which also offers wage and rent subsidies for those businesses ineligible for the THRP program above:
Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Program details:
- Subsidy rate of up to 50%
- Applies to businesses in all sectors
- Businesses must have experienced:
- an average monthly revenue reduction of at least 50% over the first 13 qualifying periods for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (12-month revenue decline)
- AND a current-month revenue loss of at least 50%
This week, the Coalition of Hardest Hit Businesses, the Tourism Industry Association of Canada and the Hotel Association of Canada issued letters to opposition leaders Erin O’Toole, Jagmeet Singh, and Yves-François Blanchet (CHHB letters | TIAC letters | HAC letters), urging them to support and swiftly pass Bill C-2, the proposed legislation that will enact the Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program.
Speaking at the Canadian Tourism Congress this week, new Minister of Tourism Randy Boissonnault said, “There cannot be a full recovery in Canada without a full recovery of the tourism industry.” It will undoubtedly take a sustained strategy and effort among the public and private sectors to bring about that full recovery, and Bill C-2 is a critical immediate step. Please join these industry leaders by contacting your MP to ensure Toronto’s voice is heard and Bill C-2 is passed immediately.
Ontario Staycation Tax Credit
Earlier in November, the Ontario government provided further detail on the proposed new tax credit for the 2022 tax year.
The credit will provide Ontarians with 20% of eligible accommodation expenses up to $1,000 for individuals and $2,000 for families. People filing for the tax credit would see up to $200 return for individuals and up to $400 return for families. Ontarians who do not owe personal income tax can still file for the Ontario Staycation Tax Credit.
- Your stay must be less than a month
- Your stay is in an eligible accommodation such as a hotel, motel, resort, lodge, bed-and-breakfast establishment, cottage or campground in Ontario
- Your stay is between January 1 and December 31 2022
- Is a trip for leisure
- The trip is paid for by the person filing taxes in Ontario as per a detailed receipt. Eligible spouse, partner or child can also pay for the trip.
- The trip has not been reimbursed to the tax filer by a friend, family member or employer
- The trip is subject to GST and HST as per a detailed receipt.
This is a key strategic initiative that will encourage more domestic and regional travel, helping bridge a critical period of time before the vital international travel markets return.
Three new pieces of legislation all with good news for an industry that continues to be hit hard.
We’ll be keeping an eye on these measures along with other government support as the industry continues recovery into 2022, and working in close collaboration with our advocacy partners TIAO and TIAC to help facilitate sector recovery.