To ensure money stays in the pockets of Alberta’s job creators, hotels and other lodging providers will be able to keep tourism levy amounts collected between April 1 and June 30.

This three-month extension of the abatement period, which originally ended on March 31, will free up to $8 million in additional cash flow for the sector to employ staff, continue operations and provide valuable services through the spring and summer seasons.

“We’ve been listening to accommodation providers across the province, and they’re telling us that they are still struggling. With the vaccination rollout well underway there is hope on the horizon, but the reality is that COVID-19’s impact on our tourism industry is still being felt. That’s why we are taking action to ensure our tourism job creators have the support they need now to get to the other side of this pandemic and help our economy recover.”

Doug Schweitzer, Minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation

“As Alberta businesses continue to face extreme challenges, we will continue to provide meaningful support. The tourism levy abatement has been an effective way to offer lodging providers additional cash flow during the pandemic and the government is pleased to extend it further. Leaving money in the hands of employers in the struggling tourism industry will help them retain staff and continue operating at a time of great need.”

Travis Toews, President of Treasury Board and Minister of Finance

Short-term rental hosts that list their properties on online marketplaces like Airbnb and Vrbo and began collecting the tourism levy on April 1 will also be eligible to keep tourism levy amounts collected during the latest three-month abatement period.  

Hotels, short-term rental hosts and other lodging providers that have already remitted tourism levy amounts collected on or after April 1 will receive a refund from Alberta’s Tax and Revenue Administration.

Businesses are still required to file returns as per the Tourism Levy Act and will be expected to resume regular tourism levy payments on amounts collected on or after July 1.

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Alberta’s government is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic by protecting lives and livelihoods with precise measures to bend the curve, sustain small businesses and protect Alberta’s health-care system.

Quick facts

  • In May 2020, Alberta’s government approved the abatement of the tourism levy from March 1 to Dec. 31, 2020. In December 2020, the abatement was extended to March 31, 2021.
    • An estimated $36 million in capital was freed up for the sector over the course of the original 13-month abatement period.
  • With the May 26 extension, the total abatement period will run from March 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021.
  • In 2019, tourism spending by visitors contributed to the provincial economy with:
    • 68,000 tourism jobs (full-time equivalent employment  in person years)
    • $6.5 billion in contribution to Alberta’s GDP ($3.9 billion direct, $1.5 billion indirect and $1.1 billion induced)
  • In 2019, Alberta saw a total of 34.7 million person visits, with these visitors spending about $8.2 billion on tourism in our communities.