The Herald reports:
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff says the hotel industry is being disingenuous about his bed levy by exploiting events like the Masters Games to hike room rates.
Goff has gone on the offensive with a new version of his proposed targeted rate for hotels and other accommodation providers, which has been toned down to appease industry and political concerns.
Under the latest version, hotels will pay more than motels and lodges and the targeted rate is expected to collect $15 million to $18 million, rather than the original $27.8 million.
In an exclusive interview with the Weekend Herald, Goff said hotels are the best “proxy” to pay the levy to fund spending by Auckland Council’s Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development(Ateed) to attract visitors and support major events.
Hotels and motels get 9% of the benefits from tourism and he wants them to find up to 100% of ATEED.
That is not a good proxy.
Hopefully Goff will fail in his plans, but if he does force this through then at a minimum the hotels who fund ATEED should get to appoint its board and approve its budget. They will do a far better job than Council appointees in deciding if an event actually will be beneficial to the tourism sector.