The City of Vancouver is the first to use a new tool to help communities cover the costs of hosting internationally recognized major tourism events.
Last fall, the city, host of the FIFA World Cup in 2026, asked for a modest temporary increase to the Municipal and Regional District Tax (MRDT) on short-term accommodations to help with costs of hosting the matches. In response, the Province introduced changes to the Provincial Sales Tax Act so eligible communities can apply for an additional Major Events MRDT for as much as 2.5% on short-term accommodation sales.
The new tool will help Vancouver cover costs of hosting FIFA 2026. It is available to other local governments to help fund eligible major events with the potential to draw significant international visitation.
“We are thrilled Vancouver is a host city to FIFA 2026 and pleased with the collaboration that has already taken place to help ensure this event is a success,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Finance. “Similar to how the Province helped Whistler fund its 2010 Winter Olympics, we’re grateful for all our partners who are working together to give soccer fans, people in the tourism sector and all British Columbians this once-in-a-generation opportunity.”
The City of Vancouver, Destination Vancouver and the Province, after consultation with the local accommodation sector, have agreed to a Major Events MRDT rate of 2.5% over seven years to help pay for planning, staging and hosting FIFA 2026 matches. Overnight visitors to Vancouver will see an additional $2.50 on each $100 paid on short-term accommodations beginning Feb. 1, 2023. The temporary tax could generate approximately $230 million in revenue over seven years.
“We’re so excited to be hosting the FIFA World Cup 2026, one of the world’s largest sporting events, here in Vancouver,” said Ken Sim, mayor of Vancouver. “Vancouver has welcomed the world on many occasions, but this global celebration of soccer and national pride is an extraordinary opportunity. The economic impacts and benefits to Vancouver will be felt in the leadup to the FIFA World Cup, throughout the event and long after the final whistle blows in 2026.”
The temporary tax on purchases of accommodation is a tool that communities can apply for to provide dedicated, time-limited support for eligible major internationally recognized events that help to significantly bolster international visitation to the province.
“The 2026 World Cup will be the largest single sport event ever and hosting it here in Vancouver provides a platform to promote B.C. globally as a prime destination. This is an amazing opportunity to profile B.C.’s food and beverage producers, and other businesses we are all proud of,” said Lana Popham, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport. “The Major Events MRDT will remove barriers for communities interested in hosting sporting and other events of international reach, and this will support the tourism sector in the long term.”
Destination BC estimates that the FIFA 2026 opportunity in B.C. could result in an increase of 269,000 visitors, approximately 50% of them from outside Canada and the U.S.
“The exposure that comes with being a host city for the FIFA World Cup strengthens Vancouver’s game in the global competition with other cities for visitors, talent, thought leadership, innovation and investment,” said Royce Chwin, president and CEO, Destination Vancouver. “The Province and city’s investment in an event of this scale is a major step in continuing to build a vibrant and resilient visitor economy – a visitor economy that brings in close to $15 billion annually and supports more than 100,000 jobs.”
- The new Major Events MRDT will be in addition to the long-standing MRDT that applies on short-term accommodations in more than 60 areas throughout the province.
- In 2007, the Province helped the Resort Municipality of Whistler pay for its costs of hosting the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games by introducing a similar temporary, additional Resort Accommodation Tax in the area.
Read about FIFA World Cup 2026 in Vancouver here: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2022TACS0037-000961
Two backgrounders follow.