All tourists, including those from EU countries planning to travel to Manchester, are now subject to a fee called “City Visitor Charge”, thus becoming the first city in the United Kingdom to impose such a requirement.
The nightly tax obliges all visitors staying in accommodation establishments in this city to pay €1.14 per night room, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
The Manchester Accommodation Business Improvement (ABID) expects that new changes will bring a total of €3.4 million.
“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,” first chair of ABID, Annie Brown, told Manchester Evening.
She said that there are other cities in Britain planning to introduce similar measures.
“I don’t think it’s a charge that’s off-putting,” Brown pointed out, according to Travel Tomorrow, stressing that it is going to be the largest accommodation BID outside of Central London regarding the revenue it generates.
The new changes were introduced after last year, and a total of 80 per cent of hoteliers supported such a measure. Among the reasons behind calling for the vote was the city’s plan to enhance its accommodation capacity with a total of new hotels encompassing over 6,000 rooms in the next few years.
The Manchester ABID, which will collect the funds from the tax, was projected to help overcome challenges that the accommodation sector in this city is facing, including the recovery from the damages caused by the Coronavirus and the impact of the Brexit transition period on the hospitality sector, following the initiative of the city’s hotel as well as serviced apartment providers.
The recent decision also aims to create a more sustainable accommodation sector in this city and help Manchester remain among the top tourist destination.
“There’s a number of ways of doing that, and the biggest two are around city events in ‘shoulder periods’ — i.e., lower periods in the calendar — and attracting big events to the city. It might be large sporting, music, or conference events. We’re aware that we’re not just bidding against other UK cities, but other large cities around the world”, Brown said.
It has also been noted that the funds will be used in order to amplify the marketing campaigns that drive overnight stays and also provide opportunities to futureproof Manchester’s accommodation sector, thus contributing to the country’s economic growth.
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