Cornwall Tourism Development Corp. had ‘excellent year’: auditor

Cornwall Tourism Development Corporation board chairman Etienne Saint-Aubin. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

CORNWALL – In roughly a year-and-a-half, the Tourism Development Corporation of Cornwall (TDCC) has received nearly half a million dollars from the city’s bed tax.

As of the end of 2019, the TDCC had net assets of $339,476, which auditor Jamie Pollock of MNP called a “great financial position.”

The corporation, which receives a portion of the 4 per cent Municipal Accommodation Tax charged on hotel and motel stays in the City of Cornwall, has received $491,978 since its inception. It received transfers of $190,590 in 2019 for the partial 2018 year and a further $301,388 this year for the 2019 collection.

As previously reported, the TDCC gave out $141,900 to 19 different projects. But during its AGM Thursday afternoon, the board of directors heard that five of those tourism events were not delivered this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In his remarks, chairman Etienne Saint-Aubin warned there will be a “significance decrease” in proceeds to the tourism industry this year due to COVID-19 pandemic and the effect on the sector has been “quite atrocious.”

The corporation had just a little over $10,000 in overhead.

But the chairman is happy with the position of the “quite young” corporation, which started after the bed tax started being collected June 1, 2018.

“I think the community be can quite proud of how it has approached the whole matter of application and investment of the proceeds of the Municipal Accommodation Tax. The process was a good idea in order to seize the potential for an opportunity to invest in the tourism future and therefore the economy and the social progress of our community and it has been well carried out,” Saint-Aubin said.

Saint-Aubin also noted that a reserve has been created for a future “key attraction,” similar to the future Cornwall Arts Center, though he did not say how much had been set aside. “We established a reserve so that if there is in fact a consensus around a project which might come forward with the genius, the spirit of someone who has a good idea and is seen to be so by the community that, some measure of funds would be there to help that along.”

In March, the TDCC committed $100,000 over four years ($25,000 a year) to the arts center.