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Revenue from Manchester’s New Tax Hits £2.8m in First Year

Manchester’s new City Visitor Charge, often referred to as a ‘tourist tax,’ has proven to be a success by raising nearly £3 million in its first year. The charge, set at £1 per room, per night, was implemented in April 2023 with the goal of attracting more visitors to the city. Currently, it is being collected from 73 hotels and serviced apartments located within the Manchester ABID Zone.

As the first city in the UK to introduce such a tax, Manchester has set a precedent for others to follow. Cambridge is now considering a charge of £2 per night, with plans to increase the rate after two years. In contrast, Manchester has frozen the levy for five years, keeping it at £1 plus VAT until then.

The funds raised from the City Visitor Charge are being used by Manchester ABID to implement various measures aimed at increasing tourist visits and overnight stays in the city. These measures include marketing campaigns, attracting large-scale events, conferences, and festivals during low-season months, as well as improving overall street cleanliness.

Kumar Mishra, the general manager of The Edwardian Manchester and chairman of Manchester Accommodation BID, highlighted that the charge has supported campaigns to boost stays during traditionally lower occupancy months. Additionally, funds have been allocated to support new music events, business conferences, and popular city events like the Manchester Flower Festival, Manchester Pride, and Chinese New Year.

Furthermore, investments have been made in training security staff and enhancing street cleaning services in the city center. Looking ahead, Mr. Mishra noted that there are “big plans” on the horizon to further enhance the city’s appeal to visitors in the coming year.

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