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.

More information about how MRDT is collected and invested in Whistler is available on the RMOW's website at whistler.ca/mrdt.

More information about the provincial MRDT program is available on Destination BC's website

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 in 2021 include:

Marketing Campaigns

  • Winter 2021/22 Thrill Runs Deep Brand Campaign
  • Winter 2021/22 Book Early & Save Tactical Campaigns

Conference Centre Initiatives

  • Attendance at industry-related events
  • Execution of familiarization trips for meeting planners
  • Targeted sales initiatives directed at filling midweek and shoulder season periods

Planning, Investing & Development of Whistler

  • Park and amenity upkeep and signage
  • Valley Trail enhancements and connections
  • Parks Masterplan Project
  • Bylaw support and Goose Management
  • Investments in third-party festivals and events

Investment in the Workforce Who Deliver the Visitor Experience

  • Village Host Program
  • Whistler Experience Guest Service Training (in partnership with the Whistler Chamber of Commerce)
  • Visitor Information Centre Support
  • Park and Trail Ambassador Program

Investment in Affordable Housing Initiatives

  • Construction of employee-restricted housing in Cheakamus Crossing

Additional Information

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: whistler.ca/media/news/whistler-receives-approval-increase-mrdt-hotel-tax-three-cent

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.