Province Repeals Tourist Accommodations Act

first_img A new approach to tourist accommodations will help ensure a quality experience for visitors and reduce the regulatory burden for operators. Bill Dooks, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, introduced a bill today, May 2, to repeal the Tourist Accommodations Act, which requires accommodation properties to be licensed. Instead of licensing, operators who want to be promoted by the province must participate in a recognized quality program. “Visitors to Nova Scotia will be assured that the properties we promote meet industry standards for quality and cleanliness,” said Mr. Dooks. “Operators will face less red tape and enjoy the freedom to choose the type of quality program that best suits their business needs.” To be eligible for provincial marketing programs – such as novascotia.com, Doers’ and Dreamers’, or the Check In Nova Scotia Reservation Service – operators must choose one of several quality programs. They can participate in any of the recognized rating programs such as Canada Select or the Canadian Automobile Association’s diamond rating program. More than 60 per cent of accommodations operators are rated through a recognized rating program. They will automatically be eligible for provincial marketing programs, and will save anywhere between $80 and $800 previously spent on licensing fees. The other option for operators who want to be included in provincial marketing programs, but who do not want their property rated, is to participate in the new accommodation quality program led by the Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia. The association is working with the industry to develop and lead the new program, which will include a set of quality standards for accommodations properties. “We are pleased with the move toward less regulation and the concept of promoting only those businesses that meet quality standards as part of the Nova Scotia brand,” said Susan Tilley-Russell, chair of the association. “Moving forward, we are confident that this industry-led approach will enable us to improve the quality tourist accommodation throughout Nova Scotia.” While quality will be industry led, safety issues will continue to be dealt with through other legislation. Accommodations operators who chose not to participate in a quality program must still comply with all federal, provincial and municipal legislation such as those related to public safety and the operation of a business, but they will not be promoted by the province. This new approach also aligns with the province’s Better Regulation Initiative – reducing red tape and helping to create a business climate that allows Nova Scotia tourism businesses to grow and prosper. Until the act is repealed, the department is granting short-term tourist accommodation licences to operators. Once the bill is proclaimed, accommodation licensing will end. Government made the decision to repeal the act after a thorough review that began in July 2006. The review included industry consultation, consumer research, a review of best practices in other areas and consultation with other government departments. More information is available on the department’s website at www.gov.ns.ca/dtc . Province Repeals Tourist Accommodations Actlast_img

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