Tourist tax: People staying in Manchester hotels will have to pay extra tax from tomorrow - here’s why

A popular UK city is going to start charging tourists an extra fee to stay in their hotels overnight - here’s why

A city in the UK is set to introduce a UK first tourist tax from April 1. The money will be used to ‘improve visitor experience’ and support the growth of the visitor economy.

From tomorrow (April 1) people who have booked to stay overnight in a Manchester city centre hotel or apartment will have to pay a £1 fee on top of their hotel charge. The new tax branded the ‘City Visitor Charge’ will help to fund the new Manchester Accommodation Business Improvement District (ABID), which aims to “improve the visitor experience” and “support future growth of the visitor economy” over the next five years.

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It is thought 6,000 hotel rooms will be added to Manchester over the coming years, with predictions that it will lead to an extra million overnight stays. Last year, a referendum was held among hoteliers on whether or not to implement the fee, with four in five voting in favour.

Annie Brown, the first chair of ABID, said that despite the cost of living crisis the introduction of the tax was a “smart move”.

She said: “This is a historic moment – the accommodation sector in and around Manchester is growing rapidly, with almost 6,000 new bedrooms incoming over the next few years, and 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.

A popular UK city is going to start charging tourists an extra fee to stay in their hotels overnight - here’s why A popular UK city is going to start charging tourists an extra fee to stay in their hotels overnight - here’s why
A popular UK city is going to start charging tourists an extra fee to stay in their hotels overnight - here’s why | Pixabay

“The Manchester Accommodation BID will 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. I’m grateful to all of the accommodation providers who have supported the initiative and I’m looking forward to working together as a sector to achieve our shared objective of increasing occupancy.”

Edinburgh is also planning to introduce a £2-a-night tax to visitors subject to legislative approval from the Scottish parliament. Many European cities including Rome, Venice and Barcelona already charge visitors staying overnight.

Rome’s city tax rate varies from €3 to €7 a night according to the rating of the accommodation. In Venice, the charge depends on the star rating of accommodation, but there has been a push to introduce a daytripper tax of up to €10 a person too.

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