The Abbotsford chamber of commerce has written to federal finance minister Joe Oliver supporting a proposal to create a pilot project for a Road Travel Rebate Program (Road TRIP) as part of the 2015 federal budget.
The proposed tax rebate would encourage U.S. tourists to shop in Canada by allowing them to “take 5.”
American visitors travelling into and out of Canada through a land border crossing would be eligible for a rebate of 5 per cent (equal to the GST) on purchases made during their trip.
Applications for this rebate would be available at participating Canadian duty free stores, located at land border crossings across the country. The rebate could then be spent at each crossing’s respective duty free store.
“This initiative was brought to us by one of our members, Abbotsford Duty Free, on behalf of the Frontier Duty Free Association and its members across Canada,” said Allan Asaph, executive director of the Abbotsford chamber. “With lower gas prices encouraging motor vehicle travel and the strong U.S. dollar now is the time for us to increase our efforts to encourage U.S. visitors to Canada.”
Asaph noted an economic study suggests that even under adverse conditions, the program would be revenue neutral and would more likely be revenue positive through government revenues generated from increased tourist visits and spending, sales through border community retailers and exports of Canadian-made goods sold at duty free shops.