Recent decisions by District of Clearwater and Wells Gray Country (Area A) to cut the funding to Tourism Wells Gray seem to been unexpected by the association.
“I’m surprised they were caught off guard,” said councilor Stephanie Teare during last Tuesday’s District of Clearwater council meeting.
She was discussing a request from Tourism Wells Gray to meet with District staff and council, as well as with those from Wells Gray Country to review the opportunities and expectations of all parties with projected funding levels from all sources.
In a letter to council, Tourism Wells Gray chair Ted Richardson reported that the Ministry of Finance and the cabinet had approved a two per cent hotel tax for hotels and motels within the municipality and Area A.
The tax will begin Nov. 1. The Consumer Tax Programs Branch of the Ministry will follow up with hotel operators to ensure they are registered as required and are aware of their obligations to collect and remit the tax.
Richardson noted that the hotel tax is for tourism marketing, programs and projects, and not for the operations of the association.
Tourism Wells Gray presently receives an operating grant of $80,000 per year from the District and Area A.
Clearwater council voted last month to advise TWG that its operating grant for will be rolled back by 40 per cent in 2012 to $48,000. It will be reduced by 60 per cent in 2013 to $32,000.