Attractions & Experiences

Manchester introduces tourist tax to develop events and more

Featured image credit: Mylo Kaye on Unsplash

Manchester has imposed a tourist tax for guests staying in order to develop and run large events, conferences, festivals and marketing campaigns. 

The city is the first in the UK to impose the £1 tourist tax, which will be added per night, per room for those staying in hotels, and is part of a new scheme that will raise roughly £3m (€3.4m/$3.7m) a year.  It was introduced on April 1.

Manchester’s new fee is called the City Visitor Charge and is aiming to improve the visitor experience, as well as supporting growth over the next five years. It will also help to fund the new Manchester Accommodation Business Improvement District (ABID).

Annie Brown, the first chair of the ABID, told the Manchester Evening News: “I think [the message it sends] has been a consideration, however when you compare it to European cities that have had taxes and visitor levies in place for a number of years, we feel it’s a small amount comparatively. There are other cities in the UK looking to put in place what Manchester has done, I don’t think it’s a charge that’s off-putting.

“It’s projected to make about £3m annually and that will fund the ABID and we will get the attractions, and cleaning, and deliver against our business plan. It’s going to be the largest accommodation BID outside of central London in terms of the revenue it generates.”

Some 6,000 hotel rooms will be added to the city over the next few years, hoping to lead to an extra one million overnight stays. A referendum was held among hoteliers last year, discussing the implementation of the fee. Four out of five voted in favour of the new tourist tax.

The Scottish capital of Edinburgh is also looking to implement a £2 tourist tax.