Hotels and Airbnb rentals fared better in Kelowna than Kamloops throughout COVID-19 | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Hotels and Airbnb rentals fared better in Kelowna than Kamloops throughout COVID-19

The Hotel Eldorado in Kelowna.
March 07, 2021 - 12:07 PM

While the COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on the accommodation industry, Kelowna was not hit as hard as some others.

Kamloops hotels, on the other hand, were hammered hard.

Hotels in both cities collect a three per cent tax on hotel rooms that are rented out called the Municipal and Regional District Tax.

In Kelowna, revenue from that tax was down by about one-third to $2 million between December 2019 and November 2020, the latest dates that figures are available for.

The loss was about $3 million in 2019, according to the City of Kelowna. Hotels pay the tax to the province which sends the money to cities to fund tourism promotion.

READ MORE: Central Okanagan saw more visitors during 2020 than year before, despite pandemic

Tax revenues were cut almost in half in Kamloops to $1.03 million from $1.93 million, according to the City of Kamloops.

People who rent through online services such as Airbnb also pay a three per cent tax in Kelowna. It’s called the Online Accommodation Platform tax but is not paid in Kamloops.

That only dropped about 20 per cent in Kelowna to $379,394 from $470,690 the previous December through November.

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