Manchester tourism tax to revitalise hospitality industry and ‘clean up our streets’

Manchester is set to take a bold approach by charging tourists who stay overnight £1 extra to help 'add to the city's overall vibrancy'
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Described as a tourist tax, people making an overnight stay in the city will be asked to pay an additional £1, to fund a range of improvements in the city.

Those signed up to the scheme have created a union called the Manchester Accommodation Business Improvement District, or ABID.

They are hoping the extra cash can help boost the tourism economy as Manchester looks to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

So far, 74 hotels and guesthouses have signed up to the scheme.

The money will be used to “improve the visitor experience” and “support the growth of the visitor economy” across the city over the next five years.

The Manchester ABID funds will also be used to: amplify marketing campaigns that drive overnight stays; help secure large-scale events, conferences, and festivals in low-season months; improve guest welcome and street cleanliness; and provide opportunities to future-proof the city’s growing accommodation sector and wider visitor economy.

Pre Covid, Manchester was riding high as the third most visited city in the UK.

The tourist tax will help to ‘clean up the city’ according to ABID

Tourism accounted for £9 billion of the local economy during 2019 – supporting more than 100,00 jobs.

The ABID will officially come into operation on 1 April.

Speaking about the 4:1 vote in favour of the Manchester ABID, Adrian Ellis, General Manager of the Lowry Hotel, Chair of the Manchester Hoteliers’ Association, and Interim Spokesperson for the Manchester ABID, said: “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.

“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.”

ABID added that by charging this extra fee, Manchester will be better suited to compete in a global market and grow overnight visits, as 6,000 additional bedrooms are set to be opened in Salford and Manchester by 2024.

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.
“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.”

Following confirmation of the vote in favour of the Manchester ABID, the next stage of the process is to form a Manchester ABID Board so that delivery plans for year one can be progressed.

The Manchester ABID will be governed by a board of up to nine directors who will give oversight, scrutiny, and direction to the work streams, ensuring that the activities meet the expectations of accommodation operators.

 

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