Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Township Taxes Result In Decline Of Tourism & Tapping The Gay Tourism Market? - Letter by Wally Martin

(After reading below letter & posting comments, for the real facts and less fiction see these 3 & related previous LFP postings, ONE - TWO - THREE)
Letter to the Editor from Wally Martin,
The notion that high fuel prices will benefit the local tourism economy is a joke.
Langley residents live 10 minutes from the border and motor fuel in BC is 50% more expensive than in the US.

Every weekend there are huge border lineups as Canadians head south to escape our high taxes.
US visitors are not headed to Canada due to our high taxes.

Tourism from the US to BC is down 70%.

The premier of the province has long been an advocate of holidaying in the US and BC residents are following his lead.

The current marketing blitz that "BC is the best place on earth" is only true if you enjoy being over taxed.

BC has the highest hotel taxes on the continent and if you like that than you do enjoy punishment.

2 years ago councilor Bateman lead the charge to increase local hotel taxes by 25%. He insisted we needed 'a socialist style' of government marketing plan. Free enterprise wasn't smart enough to do their own marketing and the government needed to do it for them. He said at the time we would all thank him for that. This increase in tax has resulted in the decline in tourism in Langley as residents flee to lower tax destinations. I suppose we can thank councilor Bateman for higher taxes.

It was refreshing to know that at least some council members voted against the extra tax (Richter and Ferguson voted against the tax).

Tourism Langley recently launched a new logo. This logo is in rainbow colors. The rainbow has long been the symbol of the gay and lesbian movement. Does Langley really think it can compete with places like Toronto and San Francisco that have large gay pride events and numerous gay bars. It seems to me that Langley would be better off with a pumpkin logo or something to promote the farm. Since Mayor Fassbender and Councilor Bateman are directors of Tourism Langley I ask 'In what direction are they trying to take us?'.

The 10% hotel tax has been in affect for a year now and we are still waiting to see some tourists brought here by Tourism Langley. Where are these tourists? Are there any tourists? Are they being sent to stay with special friends and insiders? Will the experiment in socialism work?

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