MONTREAL, Sept. 27, 2022 /CNW/ - Aldo Group Inc., Birks Group Inc., Harry Rosen Inc., Hudson's Bay Company, Cadillac Fairview Corporation Limited, Quadreal Property Group, the Retail Council of Canada, Global Blue Group and Triple Five (collectively, the "Alliance") are calling on the Government of Canada to implement a Visitor Tax Refund (VTR) program to stimulate economic recovery. The Alliance submitted on July 20th its brief to the Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance, the Honourable Randy Boissonnault, as part of the consultations of the Federal government's Tourism Growth Strategy. The implementation of this measure is intended to ensure an economic recovery in the tourism sector, which has been greatly affected by the global situation of the last few years.
The pandemic has affected many industries, including tourism, hospitality, and retail. The program proposed would allow international shoppers to reclaim the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and provincial sales tax on their purchases. The Alliance strongly believes this would boost both the number of visitors to Canada and the amount of money spent by those visitors.
An ongoing decline in per-capita tourist spending had already been observed, beginning in 2007, when the Government of Canada cancelled the previous visitor rebate program. A 5% decline in this sector over the past seven years was a marked contrast to competing jurisdictions, such as European Union, United Kingdom, or Japan, which has seen a 23% increase in spending since its program was implemented in 2012.
While the objective of the program is to ensure neutrality of tax treatment between tourist spending on exported goods and other exports, a VTR would enhance the international competitiveness of the tourism sector and domestic retailers, while increasing our country's retail sales and exports, resulting in increased tourism shopping yield and a range of macroeconomic benefits.
"The international context and the closing of borders have exacerbated an already serious issue of declining tourist spending in Canada. Every opportunity must be taken to stimulate the Canadian economy. This program would greatly benefit the tourism sector, retailers, and the Canadian economy in general, as it faces unprecedented economic challenges," said Jean-Christophe Bedos, President and CEO of Birks Group Inc.
"We are convinced that implementation of a Visitor Tax Refund program must be part of a series of actions by the government to ensure a strong economic recovery and position Canada as a global shopping destination and would substantially benefit the Canadian economy more broadly", emphasized Mr. Bedos.
SOURCE Birks Group Inc.
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