Hotel Online
News for the Hospitality Executive

.

advertisement



Survey Shows Proposed San Mateo County, California Tax Hike will Discourage
Travel to the San Francisco Bay Area, Severely Affecting Local Economy

Travel Industry Urges Local Residents to Vote No on Measures T, U and X

 
WASHINGTON, DC - May 4, 2012 -  The results of a comprehensive new survey of travel and meeting industry professionals reveal the damage a proposed tax hike in San Mateo County, CA could have on the local economy.  Convention, trade show and meeting professionals participating in the survey say new taxes on rental cars, hotels and parking will make them think twice about holding future events in the San Francisco Bay Area.

“Our survey results clearly show that raising taxes on travel goods and services would drive travelers to other destinations,” said Roger Dow, President and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association.  “The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors’ proposed tax hike will hurt the local economy, deepen the county’s budget woes and will be felt throughout the Bay Area.  We urge local voters to reject this ill-conceived plan.”

The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors proposed tax increase will appear on the June 5th ballot as measures T, U and X.  The taxes would be charged to all travelers renting vehicles from San Francisco International Airport (SFO), staying in SFO-area hotels, or parking at SFO and local hotels.  The Board’s proposal would hike rental car taxes by 11.3 percent, boost the hotel occupancy tax by 20 percent and establish a new 8 percent levy on parking.

Should the San Mateo proposal become law, more than 40 percent of survey respondents said they would “definitely” search for a new meeting destination or “reconsider” holding their next meeting or event in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Another 25 percent said they would slash their spending on meetings even if they decided to continue to hold events in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The survey was conducted by U.S. Travel Association in partnership with Meeting Professionals International (MPI) and San Francisco Travel Association . The survey included 366 respondents; fully half of whom plan meetings, trade shows, conferences or other business events in the Bay Area each year.

“I hope San Mateo County voters hear the message our global membership has shared,” said Bruce MacMillan, president and CEO of MPI.  “Voters have lots of options and approving a sweeping, across-the-board travel tax hike will only encourage our members to plan conventions and meetings outside of the Bay Area.”

According to the survey, 58 percent believe the Bay Area’s tax rates are already among the highest in the country, second only to New York.  San Mateo County’s proposal threatens to make this perception problem even worse.

“A tax hike that punishes travelers is equivalent to putting up a giant ‘keep out’ sign.  We should be doing all we can to welcome more travelers to the Bay Area and inviting more meetings, conferences and events to come here.  Increasing travel and tourism generates tax dollars and creates jobs,” said the president and CEO of the San Francisco Travel Association, Joe D’Alessandro.

Visitors traveling through SFO airport support more than 300,000 local jobs, generate over $16 billion in spending and nearly $790 million in state and local taxes.

These results echo the findings of a 2011 U.S. Travel Association national survey which found that 49 percent of travelers would change their plans due to high taxes on travel goods and services.

The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors proposed a similar tax hike in 2008, but local voters soundly defeated the measure, proving that proposals to raise taxes on business and leisure travelers are unpopular.

Click here for survey results.

The U.S. Travel Association
is the national, non-profit organization representing all components of the travel industry that generates $1.9 trillion in economic output and supports 14.4 million jobs. U.S. Travel's mission is to increase travel to and within the United States.  Visit www.ustravel.org.  Follow us on Twitter @ustravel
.
Contact:

Cathy Keefe
(202) 408-2183
ckeefe@ustravel.org





Receive Your Hospitality Industry Headlines via Email for Free! Subscribe Here

To Learn More About Your News Being Published on Hotel-Online Inquire Here

Also See: Travelhorizons Report Offers New Insight on US Travel; While Recovery Continues for Business Travel Intentions, Americans Remain Tentative about Near-Term Leisure Travel Plans / April 2012

U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Testifies in Support of Jobs Originated through Launching Travel (JOLT) Act; Urges Expansion of Visa Waiver Program to Simplify Process for Visitors to the U.S. without Compromising Security / March 2012

Rossi Ralenkotter, CEO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, Calls for National Agenda to Strengthen Meetings Industry; Commences Term as Chair of the U.S. Travel Association / March 2012

Travel Employment Outpaces Rest of U.S. Economy by 34%; More than Half of the Travel Industry Jobs Lost During Recession Have Been Recovered / March 2012

U.S. Travel Association Launches 2012 Vote Travel Campaign; Plans to have a Significant Presence at the Upcoming Political Party Conventions and Host Nationwide Rallies and Events to Raise Travel Industry Profile / January 2012

U.S. Travel Association Analysis Shows Travel Employment Rebound in December with the Travel Industry Creating Jobs at a Faster Rate than the Rest of the Economy / January 2012

U.S. Travel Association Issues Statement on President Obama's Jobs Speech / September 2011

U.S. Travel Association Discusses Impact of 9/11 on Travel Industry; Releases Principles for Building a More Secure and Efficient U.S. Travel System / August 2011

Analysis of Labor Department Report Shows that the Travel Industry Accounts for More than 1 in 10 Jobs Created in 2011; Travel Jobs Continue to Increase for Eighth Consecutive Month / August 2011

U.S. Travel Association Releases Comprehensive Analysis Proving Tourism Promotion Campaigns Increase Visitation Resulting in More Jobs, State and Local Tax Revenue / July 2011

U.S. Travel Association Releases New Research Results Showing 49% of Travelers Alter Plans Due to High Travel Taxes; Launches Travel Tax Institute / April 2011

Roger Dow, President & CEO of the US Travel Association, Awarded the Spirit of Hospitality Award at Destination & Travel Foundation Dinner / February 2011
.

To search Hotel Online data base of News and Trends Go to Hotel.OnlineSearch

Home | Welcome| Hospitality News |
Industry Resources

Please contact Hotel.Online with your comments and suggestions.