Inspection fees are on the rise in PEI. There has been considerable negative feedback on this:
- We have to pay for government’s extravagances in other areas
- We’ll have to pass the cost along to the customer
- Government is taking money out of my pocket that I could direct to improvements
- This is a disincentive to new operators who will go underground
I’m not ready to take sides yet. Let’s try to have an objective look at the situation.
Currently, Tourism establishments pay a licencing fee which includes inspection. Starting next year, the rates will increase to almost double by 2014. This year, I paid $100 for my licence. This includes about an hour visit from an inspector, issuing the licence, preparing the inspection reports, keeping records, and publishing the inspection reports on the Internet. Even at the reportedly low salary rates for PEI (minimum wage here is $10.00), you be the judge if this is getting your money’s worth.
Others think the inspection system is archaic and should be forgone, relying on user reviews on Twitter, Facebook, Trip Advisor, etc. See Robert Patterson’s blog for one such opinion. While I agree with much of what he says, those of us in the industry know that some Trip Advisor reviews are faked. Some are written by the owners to boost their ratings, and some by the competition to lower their ratings. Still, it is true that an official scheduled inspection only provides a sometimes rehearsed snapshot of the establishment. While there is no perfect system, it seems that licenced establishments should be inspected by some governing authority.
Come back tomorrow for more information for tourists in PEI.