Tourists visiting Richmond region could soon see 2% fee on hotel bill

Richmond Region Tourism is working to pin a 2% assessment to hotels with 41 rooms or greater.
Published: Apr. 5, 2023 at 5:16 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Hotel bills across the Richmond region could soon be a bit higher for tourists.

Richmond Region Tourism is working to pin a 2% assessment to hotels with 41 rooms or greater.

In the non-profit’s first year alone, they anticipate bringing in $8.2 million, which would be used to pay for tourism promotion and hosting bigger events and sports tournaments.

Richmond Region Tourism CEO and President Jack Berry says these upgrades will help bring more tourists to our area.

“That means more athletes, more families, more fans, spending more money in our community at our local businesses,” Berry said.

Berry says a 2% fee would be added on top of the 8% transient occupancy tax already in place, so if you’re paying for a $100 hotel room, the fee would cost you about two dollars.

He says it will be a busy summer and fall across central Virginia as many people are ready to get out after being pent up during the pandemic.

“If you need a room, get it right away, as the weekend sells out all the time. It’s not just sports tourism but the popularity of our destination. We have about 20,000 hotels in the market, and Friday and Saturday, they’re coming out of Washington, Baltimore, New York and taking up the hotel rooms,” Berry said.

He says last year was the region’s best fiscal year in history for tourism, and 2023 is already 20% ahead of this time last year.

“We have skyrocketed out of the pandemic,” Berry said.

Henrico, Hanover, Ashland, Chesterfield, Colonial Heights and the City of Richmond will have to approve the proposed plan.

Berry says public hearings on the assessment are still underway for some localities.

“Hotels have come to out to voice their support of this assessment,” Berry said.

Berry says if jurisdictions approve the assessment, the fee would go into effect starting July 1, 2023.