This week, City Council approved plans to create a Tourism Municipal Services Corporation (Tourism MSC) to promote Mississauga as a tourism destination. The Tourism MSC will operate as Mississauga’s tourism and destination marketing organization.
“Tourism is a major driver for local economies in cities across the country, including Mississauga, Canada’s sixth largest city, said Mayor Bonnie Crombie. “It generates revenue, provides good jobs and keeps our city open for business. This new organization will allow us to attract more tourism and encourage visitors to explore all that our great city has to offer. From our sprawling waterfront to cultural festivals, sports teams, live music, creative arts, dining and more, there is so much to see and do in Mississauga.”
The Tourism MSC will allow Mississauga to have an independent non-profit organization that will be eligible to receive Municipal Accommodation Tax (MAT) funds as required by Government of Ontario legislation.
“The Tourism Advisory Board is excited to take this next step in growing tourism in Mississauga,” said Pat Saito, Ward 9 Councillor and Chair of the Mississauga Tourism Advisory Board. “We have a vibrant hospitality industry to attract and serve all visitors whether they are here for business or pleasure. The new organization will implement our Tourism Master Plan and take us to the next level as a popular destination.”
The City hosted a public meeting on June 3 to get feedback on the City’s plans to develop a Tourism MSC. This consultation showed strong support for the initiative. Tourism staff also prepared a business case study outlining the benefits of establishing the corporation. This is included with the corporate report.
“The Tourism MSC will enable us to continue to promote sports tourism and attract provincial and national sporting events such as the Ontario Summer Games and the 55+ Summer Games,” said Shari Lichterman, Director, Recreation. “Having a strong independent corporation will allow us to develop our City as a destination that will continue to thrive and attract large multicultural festivals.”
Under the leadership of Tourism MSC interim directors – Paul Mitcham, Commissioner, Community Services; Gary Kent, Commissioner and Chief Financial Officer, Corporate Services and Shari Lichterman, Director, Recreation – staff in consultation with the Mississauga Tourism Advisory Board, will develop and bring back recommendations to Council in late 2019 regarding governance, operations and required elements to bring the Tourism MSC to full operation.
The City’s Tourism Unit will continue to implement the approved Tourism Master Plan.
In 2017, the Government of Ontario brought in regulation permitting municipalities to implement a Municipal Accommodation Tax (MAT). On February 7, 2018 City Council approved the implementation of a MAT Tax. This law went into effect on April 1, 2018. Government of Ontario legislation requires 50 per cent of the MAT funds collected by a municipality be directed to an eligible non-profit organization.