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P.E.I. tourism operators to benefit from reduced licensing fees

Tourism Minister Chris Palmer speaks at a presentation in Stratford earlier this summer.
Tourism Minister Chris Palmer speaks at a presentation in Stratford earlier this summer. - Katie Smith

A Summerside restaurant owner says he will save nearly $800 over the next three years thanks to lower licensing fees for tourism accommodation operators.

David Groom, a longtime hotel and restaurant owner, is among more than 1,500 operators across the province who will end up with more money in their pocket.

The 20 per cent licensing fee reduction is possible partly because the number of Island tourism operations has increased in recent years.

The news is good for the industry, Groom said.

“This fee reduction will allow operators like me to invest more in our properties and our marketing to help drive more visitors to our province.”

The tourism industry provides over 7,700 full-time equivalent jobs for Islanders, and contributes 6.4 per cent of the total GDP, which is the highest percentage of any province in Canada.

Tourism Minister Chris Palmer said the industry is a competitive one.

"And this is a great way to support operators who want to improve their products or their marketing to bring more people to the Island.”

Keith Samuel, chairman of Quality Tourism Services, a company that performs inspections of Island tourism accommodations that are paid for by licensing fees, said he’s pleased to support the reduction of such fees.

"It will provide a bit of a break to tourism accommodation operators for 2019 and beyond.”

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