Tourism Whistler

Municipal and Regional District Tax

The Municipal and Regional District Tax (MRDT) is a tax of up to three per cent (3%) on the purchase of short-term tourist accommodation imposed in specific geographic areas of British Columbia (designated accommodation areas) on behalf of municipalities, regional districts or eligible entities.

The MRDT program – sometimes referred to as the Hotel Tax - was originally introduced by the Provincial Government in 1987 to raise revenues for local tourism marketing, programs, and projects. MRDT is paid by visitors (not residents or Members) when they book accommodation and it is collected by the accommodation sector.

In Whistler, the MRDT funds are received by the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) and then shared with Tourism Whistler based on a number of agreements. Revenues are reinvested by both organizations on behalf of the destination. Expenditures are approved by, and reported back to, the Province to ensure ongoing alignment with the prescribed purposes of the tax as outlined in the Provincial Sales Tax Act.

Learn more about how MRDT is collected and invested in Whistler here.

More information about the MRDT program in BC is available

Increase to Three Per Cent

In November 2018, the RMOW and Tourism Whistler were successful in their joint application to increase the amount of MRDT collected in Whistler from two per cent (2%) to three per cent (3%). Accommodation sellers began collecting the additional one per cent on December 1, 2018.

With the approval to collect the additional percentage point, Whistler joined many other destinations across British Columbia who were already approved to receive the full three per cent MRDT.

Increasing the MRDT to three per cent is positive for Whistler as it provides our community with resources for product reinvestment, experience enhancement and market diversification to ensure we continue to enjoy a strong, balanced tourism economy for many years to come.

View the full announcement here:

Changes to Accommodation Sold Online

Historically, independent tourist accommodation owners of three units or less selling their units for short-term accommodation (less than 27 days) have been exempt from having to submit PST and MRDT. This changed effective October 1, 2018.

The Province now requires all accommodation sellers using online accommodation channels such as Airbnb and Allura Direct to collect and submit PST and MRDT. This is a positive change as the new rules work to ensure a more level playing field for all types of short-term accommodation sellers.

Compliance for this new requirement is a Provincial responsibility. There are fines in place for non-compliance, late filings or remittances.

The Province has also announced that affordable housing development is a permissible use of the incremental funds collected through this channel.

How are the MRDT funds spent in Whistler?

In Whistler, the MRDT funds are primarily invested into a mix of product reinvestment and enhancement, service delivery and leisure marketing and sales initiatives. Investment examples include:

Our Guests: Investment in marketing & promotional strategies

  • Datahub Partnership with DBC, Tourism Vancouver, and Tourism Whistler (ex. New Content Hub)
  • Summer 2019 Brand Marketing Campaign, Tactical Marketing Campaign, Golf Marketing Campaign and Mountain Biking Marketing Campaign
  • Winter 2019/20 Brand Marketing Campaign and Tactical Marketing Campaign
  • Spring 2019 Marketing Campaign
  • Whistler Trip Advisor Sponsorship
  • Festivals, Events and Animation Marketing
  • Ask Whistler Mobile Chat Service
  • Tourism Whistler Partnership with UK Tour Operators and Australia Tour Operators
  • Growing Luxury Segment
  • Conference and Group Business Support

Our People: Investment in workforce who deliver the visitor experience

  • Village Host Program
  • Whistler Experience Guest Service Training
  • Visitor Information Centre Support
  • Park and Trail Ambassador Program

The Place: Investment and development of the destination

  • Park and trail amenity enhancements
  • Cultural tourism – learning and education development
  • Festivals, events and animation