Home Outbound International Manchester becomes first UK city to impose ‘tourist tax’

Manchester becomes first UK city to impose ‘tourist tax’

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Manchester has become the first UK city to launch a “tourist tax” for visitors.

The City Visitor Charge will mean people face an extra ÂŁ1 per room, per night, for their accommodation cost.

The money will be used to help to run large events, conferences, festivals, marketing campaigns and for street cleanliness.

Manchester City Council Chief Executive Joanne Roney said the “innovative initiative” would raise ÂŁ3m a year to “enhance” visitors’ experience.

It would create “new events and activities for them to enjoy”, she said, adding that the money would be “invested directly into these activities, supporting Manchester’s accommodation sector to protect and create jobs and benefiting the city’s economy as a whole”.

The money will be used for marketing campaigns, conferences, festivals and street cleanliness

The charge, aimed to help boost the tourist economy as the city recovers from the coronavirus pandemic, comes after accommodation providers voted to set up the Manchester Accommodation Business Improvement District (ABID).

Some 73 hotels and serviced apartments signed up to the levy scheme which has been introduced ahead of a planned expansion of the hotel and holiday let sector in the city.

Annie Brown from Manchester ABID said the move would help create “a more sustainable and thriving sector, helping to bring visitors from around the world to experience the best of what Manchester and Salford have to offer”.

She said the accommodation sector in and around Manchester was “growing rapidly, with almost 6,000 new bedrooms to be created over the next few years”.

“The goal of the Manchester Accommodation BID is simple – we need to increase overnight stays in line with that growth so that hotels and serviced apartments in the city can continue to thrive,” she said.

UK Hospitality Chief Executive Kate Nicholls warned that it was “essential funds are ringfenced for spend within the sector and not funding matters covered by general taxation”.

She said hospitality businesses already paid a high level of tax, funding vital public services and tourism and while accommodation Business Improvement Districts “can have a role to fund local marketing and promotional activities” there must be “comprehensive local support and significant engagement with the business community before it is implemented”.

“UK Hospitality has been consistent that levies that are punitive, deter visitors or are incorrectly targeted are ineffective and should be avoided at all costs,” she added.

Source: BBC