In an effort to enhance the visitors’ experience, the Manchester City Council has introduced a tourist tax in an effort to improve the visitor experience, making it the first city in the UK to do so. The City Visitor Charge will charge visitors an additional £1 per room, per night for their lodging.
The funds raised will be used to organise large-scale events, conferences, festivals, marketing campaigns, and street cleaning.
This innovative initiative will raise £3 million per year to support and create jobs in the tourism sector, as well as boost the city’s overall economy.
The objective of the Manchester ABID
After accommodation providers voted in favour of the levy scheme, the Manchester Accommodation Business Improvement District (ABID) was formed.
Currently, 73 hotels and serviced apartments have joined the programme.
The ABID’s goal is to increase overnight stays in line with the rapid expansion of the accommodation sector. Over the next few years, the expansion is expected to add nearly 6,000 new bedrooms.
Impact of the Tourist Tax
The tourist tax, according to Annie Brown of Manchester ABID, will help create a more sustainable and thriving sector, bringing visitors from all over the world to experience the best of what Manchester and Salford have to offer.
The tourist tax is being implemented at a critical juncture in the city’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. It is anticipated that it will boost the tourism industry and provide additional funds to support large events and marketing campaigns.
Kate Nicholls, Chief Executive of UK Hospitality, has expressed concern that funds collected through the tourist tax must be ringfenced for use within the sector rather than funding matters covered by general taxation.
While accommodation BIDs can play a role in funding local marketing and promotional activities, she stressed that comprehensive local support and significant engagement with the business community are required before the scheme is implemented.
Nicholls also warned against punitive, deterrent, or incorrectly targeted levies, saying they are ineffective and should be avoided at all costs.
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