Tourism operators across the province are reopening, but without customers the 2020 tourism season will be a write-off, which could result in many small businesses closing permanently.
Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Houston says he has given the McNeil Liberals a blueprint to help businesses salvage the tourism season and he hopes they act.
“Back in May, our caucus sent Stephen McNeil a number of suggestions to jumpstart the economy. We were pleased to see the Premier follow our advice in several areas, including the move to re-focus advertising dollars to promote Nova Scotia tourism to Nova Scotians, but that isn’t enough on it’s own,” says Houston.
The PC plan for Jumpstarting Our Economy included practical ideas such as establishing a tax deduction of $200 for meals and/or accommodations within Nova Scotia per tax filer, with an additional $100 deduction per dependent for the 2020 fiscal year.
Houston says because many Nova Scotians are facing additional costs, have lost income and are dealing with other COVID-19 related issues, being a tourist is not top of mind this year.
“Many families and individuals are facing uncertainty in 2020, which is making it difficult to focus on eating out or taking a road trip,” says Houston. “The tax credit we put forward will be just enough to encourage Nova Scotians to go out and enjoy themselves while supporting a local business.”
For many businesses, the summer tourism season is when they make the majority of the revenue that they need to make it through the winter.
“We want Nova Scotians to feel confident that they can get out and enjoy themselves and, this year, that is the only way to help businesses survive,” says Houston. “As it stands, the only tourism operator that has confidence in their revenue this summer is the Yarmouth ferry.”