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Ottawa Valley ready for staycationers in 2022

The Somewhere Inn Calabogie in Calabogie, Ont. (Dylan Dyson/CTV News Ottawa) The Somewhere Inn Calabogie in Calabogie, Ont. (Dylan Dyson/CTV News Ottawa)
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At the turn of the New Year, the Ontario government is set to pay residents to vacation within the province with the new Staycation Tax Credit.

The tax credit will apply between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2022 for Ontario residents who stay at hotels, motels, resorts, cottages, campgrounds and the like within the province.

Ontarians will get a 20 per cent personal income tax credit on accommodation expenses. Individuals can claim up to $1,000 per stay, and families $2,000 per stay, allowing for a maximum tax credit of $200 or $400 respectively.

In Calabogie, Ont., operators at Somewhere Inn Calabogie are ready for a big year of business in 2022 due to the new staycation credit.

"Calabogie itself is quite the destination, we have something all season," says Morgan Strachan, the concierge at Somewhere Inn Calabogie.

"In the winter time we have the ski hill, and there's snow-shoeing, cross-country skiing, beautiful ways to get outside. In the fall we have beautiful fall colours and people actually come from all over."

At the recently opened inn, located at 5254 Calabogie Rd., Strachan says one of the nicer rooms costs approximately $600 for a two-night stay, creating a staycation credit of $120.

"If you're coming with a family too, you're a lot more likely to spend $2,000, at least I know I would be when I know I'm going to get something back," says Strachan. "So with the $2,000 you could have a longer stay here, you could stay for four or five nights."

With cottages, campgrounds, an abundance of waterfront, and large events like the Ontario Winter Games coming to Renfrew County in 2022, the Ottawa Valley is planning to be its own destination in the coming year.

"There's a very positive feel amongst our tourism operators that it will be a very good year next year for tourism, across the board really," said Alastair Baird, Manager of the Ottawa Valley Tourist Association.

"Renfrew County and the Ottawa Valley is a big place," says Baird. "You don't need to go far to be in a different town, community, or a different region. For us for staycations, we actually have a lot more options, let's say than somebody from Niagara Falls."

Strachan, a native to the Calabogie area, says the tax incentive will not only help bring local businesses out of the pandemic, but will also help Ontarians grow closer connections to what is in their own backyard.

"You don't realize what you have because you're always looking at all the other places you can go," explains Strachan. "And so bringing it closer to home and seeing what's only an hour drive away or a four-hour drive away is a really nice opportunity for people to grow roots in their Ontario and Canadian ways."

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