Overall tourism numbers in Revelstoke have been steadily increasing over the past five years.
Recent Municipal and Regional District Tax numbers for Revelstoke show significant increases in both high tourism and shoulder seasons. The MRDT, sometimes referred to as the “hotel tax,” is a tax of two percent on the purchase of accommodation imposed on designated accommodation areas on behalf of municipalities.
The local tourism sector sees the MRDT statistics as a reliable comparative indicator of tourism activity in the community.
Reported MRDT taxes increased a whopping 169 per cent between August 2013 and August 2017. August 2013 brought in $33,811 in MRDT taxes while August 2017 saw $91,080 in tax revenue collected.
Meghan Tabor, marketing manager for the Revelstoke Accommodation Association said mountain bike tourism is starting to progress in Revelstoke.
“We are also seeing a lot of hikers and national park goers,” said Tabor.
The MRDT tax numbers jumped nearly 96 per cent between January 2013 and January 2017. Reported numbers for January 2013 were $39,680 while January 2017 tax revenue was reported at $77,915. Winter is one of the biggest tourism seasons for Revelstoke with skiing and snowmobiling acting as the two main economic drivers.
Nicole Fricot, City of Revelstoke Community Economic Development Director, said snowmobiling is really on the rise and the community is seeing increasing numbers of sledders visiting Revelstoke.
Meghan Tabor, marketing manager for the Revelstoke Accommodation Association said that as of the end of November the snowmobile club reported having already seen one-tenth of the ridership from the previous year.
Revelstoke is also seeing an increase in tourism during the shoulder seasons. July and August have always been busy but Tabor said there is now an extension into the fall shoulder season starting in September. MRDT numbers back this up. MRDT data shows $41,253 reported in 2013 and $60,613 reported in 2017, a 46 per cent increase.
Tabor said the increase is likely due not only to an increase in tourism but three additional accommodation properties and a local property service company also contributing to the hotel tax.
This article first appeared in the January 2018 print issue of Revelstoke Mountaineer Magazine.