From April, Manchester will be the first city in the UK to charge a £1 tourist tax on overnight visitors to the city staying in hotels and short-stay accommodation
Visitors will be charged £1 excluding VAT a night from 1 April at over 70 venues across the city. The Manchester City Visitor Charge tax is expected to raise £3m to fund local cultural and tourist attractions through the newly set up Manchester Accommodation Business Improvement District (BID).
The charge will be a mandatory £1 per room per night charge and will be added to hotel and accommodation bills. Accommodation owners with properties with a rateable value of £75,000 will be included in the scheme and will be responsible for collecting and repaying the tax to Manchester city council.
Adrian Ellis, general manager of the Lowry Hotel, and chair of the Manchester Hoteliers Association, said: ‘A supplementary fee for guests, added to the final accommodation bill is now an established norm with the travel sector across the world, and the Manchester Accommodation BID will now bring our accommodation sector in line with European and global counterparts and competitors.’
Similar schemes already operate in Rome where a €6 euro (£5.27) is added to overnight stays in four star hotels, for example, and Madrid and Venice have a sliding scale from €1 (89p) to €5 (£4.39) depending on the accommodation rating.
The move comes as Manchester will see the opening of several thousand new rooms at 10 hotels this year.
Cllr Bev Craig, leader of Manchester City Council, said: ‘These are exciting times for Manchester city centre with an unprecedented number of new hotel rooms being added and major new visitor attractions such as Factory International and Co-op Live due to open in the months ahead.
‘We believe that targeted investment through the Manchester Accommodation BID will help support the accommodation sector – which plays such a vital role in supporting jobs in our city and adding to its overall vibrancy – to thrive.’
Edinburgh is planning to introduce a £2 daily tourist tax and the scheme was voted through by local councillors late last year. A date for the rollout in the Scottish capital has not been confirmed.
Wales is consulting on a percentage-based charge, which would be directly linked to the cost of the accommodation and could cover all types of facility down to campsites. Depending on the level of the tax, it could raise between £14m and £100m a year.