Communities hosting major international tourism events need additional revenue to plan, stage and host those events, and reap the long-term economic benefits.
A new Major Events Municipal and Regional District Tax (MRDT) of up to 2.5% on short-term accommodation sales would help communities cover the cost of hosting major international tourism events that help bolster provincial tourism and the economy.
The Major Events MRDT is a time-limited, dedicated funding tool that communities can apply for through Destination BC. Communities will need support and prior approval from the minister responsible for tourism and the minister of finance to help ensure the tax is dedicated and applied as intended, and that it is time-limited and subject to public reporting and transparency.
“This isn’t a new concept,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Finance. “In 2007, a temporary 4% Resort Area Tax, on top of the existing 2% accommodation tax, was introduced in the Resort Municipality of Whistler to help pay its costs for hosting the 2010 Winter Olympics. We see the potential benefits for other communities that are working to put B.C. on the international stage and bolster our economy.”
The City of Vancouver has asked the Province to temporarily raise the MRDT charged on purchases of accommodation within the city to help pay for the cost of planning, staging and hosting FIFA 2026 matches.
“We are thrilled that Vancouver was selected as one of the host cities for the FIFA World Cup 2026, the largest single sporting event in the world,” said Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport. “This tool will support our partnership with the city to ensure the event is a success.”
A key goal of the legislation is to help Vancouver address its FIFA 2026 costs while providing a way for other communities to access the same tool to help cover the cost of hosting major international tourism events. The Province is working with Vancouver on how the new Major Events MRDT could be applied within the city.
- The additional major events accommodation tax is separate from the current MRDT that applies to short-term accommodations in more than 60 areas throughout the province.
- Communities can apply for the additional Major Events MRDT if they are planning to host an internationally recognized event with the potential to draw significant out-of-province tourism.
- To apply, communities must have an agreement in place with the minister responsible for tourism to ensure the tax is used as intended, is time-limited and subject to public transparency. The minister of finance must also designate the event as a major international tourism event of provincial significance.
- The FIFA World Cup 2026 will be jointly hosted by Canada, the United States and Mexico. This World Cup will be the largest series of events ever held, and the first to feature 48 teams playing in 80 matches.
- It is expected that the United States will host 60 matches, with Canada and Mexico expected to host 10 matches each.