With the likes of Manchester International Festival (MIF) and its new, highly-anticipated venue Factory International set to arrive in the city this year, Manchester has been described as a must-visit destination for 2023. The city is expected to see a lot of visitors, however Manchester will be implementing a charge for tourists visiting from the start of April onwards, making it the first city in the UK to apply a tourist tax.
Known as the ‘city visitor charge’, the move follows in the footsteps of European cities such as Venice and Barcelona, and will see tourists staying in city centre hotels paying a charge of £1 per night, per room. The tax, which will apply from April 1 2023 and be added to the final accommodation bill, aims to raise millions of pounds, which will then be spent on ‘improving the visitor experience’.
It is hoped the charge for tourists scheme will rake in £3 million per year, which will go towards the new Manchester Accommodation Business Improvement District (ABID), which aims to ‘support future growth of the visitor economy’ over the next five years. The Manchester ABID area will be comprised of hotels and short stay serviced apartments in Manchester regional centre with a rateable value of £75,000 or more. This amounts to 73 establishments in total, with more being added in the coming years as new establishments open.
The Manchester Accommodation BID funds will 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 futureproof the city’s growing accommodation sector and wider visitor economy.
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 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.”
Annie Brown, General Manager of Hampton by Hilton Manchester Northern Quarter and Chair of Manchester Accommodation Business Improvement District, said: “This is a really exciting initiative, and the first in the country of its kind, which is starting at exactly the right time, just as Manchester takes a big step up to attract more visitors, business, events, and global attention.
“The accommodation sector in and around Manchester is growing rapidly, with almost 6,000 new bedrooms incoming over the next few years, and the goal of the Manchester Accommodation BID is simple – we need to increase overnight stays in the city in line with that growth so that businesses like mine can continue to thrive and make the most of this new era for the local visitor economy.”
To find out more about the tourist charge in Manchester, head to the Manchester ABID website here.