Tourism Victoria's budget has grown from $4,500,000 in 2014 to $8,500,000 in 2018. Occupancy rates have gone from roughly 66% to 74%. Seems like a good investment. Except that the Canadian Tourism Council tells us that for every 10% in Canadian dollar devaluation against the US dollar, we get about a 4% increase in occupancy rates. Since 2014 the dollar is down about 20%, so we would expect an 8% rise in occupancy rates. Which is what we've experienced.
So the question is for the $8.5 million are we getting good value from Tourism Victoria, or is Tourism Victoria just the rooster who thinks the sun rises because they crow?
There is a reason I ask. The province will now allow cities to use some of their hotel tax for affordable housing initiatives if they want to, but Mayor Helps has said she won't consider it. Tourism Victoria will get more than $5,000,000 from that tax in 2018, a $2,000,000 increase over 2016. Turning down 2 million free bucks for affordable housing in the middle of a housing crisis seems at odds with CoV council's narrative. This doesn't gut Tourism Victoria, but would leave them with a $6.5 million budget, still 44% more than they had in 2014.