Tourists visiting Manchester will have to pay a charge from April next year, if they’re staying in the city centre. The new ‘tax’ is being implemented to fund a business improvement district group in our city to boost tourism.
The new district will be known as the Manchester Accommodation Business Improvement District (ABID).
The aim of the ABID will be to ‘improve the visitor experience’ to Manchester city centre and ‘support the growth of the visitor economy’ during the next five years.
Tourists who have to pay the new city centre fee will be charged £1 per night.
According to the Manchester Evening News, around 74 hotels and serviced short-stay apartments will charge visitors the fee, which is predicted to raise around £4 million annually.
Bev Craig, the 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.
“Seizing that opportunity means ensuring as many rooms as possible are full all year round. We believe that targeted investment through the Manchester ABID 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.”
Adrian Ellis, General Manager of the Lowry Hotel and chair of the Manchester Hoteliers’ Association, added: “The Manchester Hoteliers’ Association has been in discussion for several years to develop options to create new, additional funding that will support continued high performance and future growth of the visitor economy for accommodation providers across the city.
“The result of these discussions is the Manchester Accommodation Business Improvement District proposal, and I am delighted that hoteliers’ have voted in favour of creating an innovative, business-led solution to some of the problems we have been facing as a sector.
“A supplementary fee for guests, added to the final accommodation bill, is now an established norm within the travel sector across the world, and the Manchester ABID will now bring our accommodation sector in line with European and global counterparts and competitors.”
According to bosses at the ABID, the money made from the scheme will be used for marketing the city as a destination.
It will also entice further ‘large-scale events’ like festivals and conferences to come to Manchester during the off-season, as well as increasing the cleanliness of the streets, and ‘improving guest welcome’.
Following the pandemic and various Covid lockdowns, demand to visit Manchester has risen.