Manchester’s ‘Tourist Tax’ Raises £2.8m After First Year

Manchester’s new so-called ‘tourist tax’ has raised almost £3 million during its first year, it has been revealed.

The City Visitor Charge, a £1 per room, per night fee, was introduced in April 2023 to pay for measures aimed at attracting more visitors, and is currently being collected from 73 hotels and serviced apartments that fall within the Manchester ABID Zone.

Manchester was the first city in the UK to introduce a tourist tax with Cambridge now considering a charge of £2 per night with plans to increase the rate after two years.
However, in Manchester, the levy has been frozen for five years so will remain at £1 plus VAT until then.

When the City Visitor Charge was introduced, Manchester ABID said it would use the funds raised to carry out a number of measures in the city that will contribute to increasing tourist visits and overnight stays, including marketing campaigns, securing large-scale events , conferences, and festivals in low-season months, and improving overall street cleanliness.

Kumar Mishra, the general manager of The Edwardian Manchester, who is the chairman of Manchester Accommodation BID, said cash raised from the charge had funded a campaign to boost stays during “traditionally lower occupancy months”.

New music events and business conferences have also been supported to fill bed spaces, alongside backing for events like the Manchester Flower Festival, Manchester Pride and Chinese New Year.

Training has been offered to security staff, and funds have also gone on extra street cleaning around the city centre.

Mr Mishra said “big plans” were emerging in the next year to make the city even more attractive to visitors.