Eligible Ontario tourism organizations receiving proceeds from a Municipal Accommodation Tax (MAT) may soon be contemplating the best way to invest newly-collected funds. Earmarked for tourism promotion or product development, MATs present an opportunity for destination marketers to boost their competitiveness.Marketing is more essential to tourism than ever before, so it’s not surprising that MATs are mandated to be used for promotional purposes. How to maximize return on investment for those promotional activities, however, can be a challenge.
Organizations seeking to gain bigger ‘bang for their MAT bucks’ would be well-advised to explore inbound marketing. By investing in a proven system that continuously generates leads and sales—all without massive time commitments for marketing departments—tourism organizations with MAT dollars to spend can make every cent count.
What’s Municipal Accommodation Tax (MAT) and Why Does Tourism Need It?
Also referred to as a transient accommodation tax or hotel and short-term accommodation tax, MATs allow municipalities in Ontario to implement a taxable rate on visitor accommodations.
Municipalities are responsible for specifying what accommodation types are required to charge the tax. For example, short-term rental platforms such as Airbnb might be taxed in one city, but not in others. Rates for an MAT are also determined by the municipality implementing the tax. However, most cities in Ontario with one in place have typically set the tax at 3-4%.
At least 50% of revenues generated from a MAT must be shared with a local tourism entity dedicated to promotion and product development. While there are many avenues that tourism organizations receiving tax proceeds could take to put the funding to good use, inbound marketing is an investment with exceptionally valuable returns.
Not sure if your town or city has a MAT in place? Contact your local council.
Why Inbound Marketing Is a Sound Investment for MAT Collections
International tourism markets are growing rapidly, and Canada is emerging as a popular travel destination with a record number of visitors last year. Meanwhile, the vast majority of visitors to Ontario are other Ontarians. But regardless of the target market, it's imperative for destination marketers to attract both new and returning visitors to their respective locations.
Inbound marketing helps tourism websites increase visibility, traffic, engagement and ultimately, sales. Using tactics such as automated email marketing, insightful lead generation and search engine optimization (SEO), inbound marketing efficiently spreads the word about all the amazing activities and experiences a destination has to offer.
But adding more responsibilities on top of tourism marketers’ towering workloads is far from ideal. That’s where working with an inbound marketing agency comes in, and return on investment of MAT dollars materializes.
Tangible Words Uses Inbound Marketing to Help Tourism Destinations Succeed
Tangible Words understands the need for tourism organizations to have a strong online presence. An award-winning inbound marketing agency and certified HubSpot partner, we’ve helped tourism destinations increase traffic and boost sales with growth-driven web design, professional copywriting, SEO and more.
With an expert team and leading inbound marketing tools, Tangible Words can help tourism organizations make the most of their MAT contributions. With additional funding specifically dedicated to tourism promotion, inbound marketing represents a sound investment with valuable returns.
- Ontario Regulation 435/17 under Municipal Act, 2001, S.O. 2001, c. 25
- Ontario Municipal Act 2001, Part XII Power to Impose Transient Accommodation Tax
- International Tourist Arrivals Reach 1.4 Billion Two Years Ahead of Forecasts (UNWTO)
- Record Number of Overseas Tourists Travelled to Canada in 2018 (CTV News)
- Tourism Quick Facts (Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport)