Manchester is a city of firsts. The atom was split in 1917 at the University, the world’s first free library opened in 1653, and McDonald’s opened its first UK drive-through in Fallowfield in 1986.
There’s another first to add to the list: the first UK city with a tourist tax. From April 1, overnight guests in city centre hotels and aparthotels will pay £1 per night per room.
Officially called the ‘City Visitor Charge’, the projected £3 million in annual takings will be used to fund a new organisation — the Accommodation Business Improvement District (ABID). READ MORE: We took Jay Rayner for lunch at one his favourite Manchester restaurants - here’s what he had to say about the city’s food With the new charge coming soon, and nearly 6,000 hotel rooms coming to Greater Manchester over the next few years, Annie Brown, the first chair of the ABID, says it’s a smart move — even during a harsh economic winter. “I think [the message it sends] has been a consideration, however when you compare it to European cities that have had taxes and visitor levies in place for a number of years, we feel it’s a small amount comparatively,” the hotelier told the Manchester Evening in an exclusive interview this week. “There are other cities in the UK looking to put in place what Manchester has done, I don’t think it’s a charge that’s off-putting. “It’s projected to make about £3 million annually and that will fund the ABID and we will get the attractions, and cleaning, and deliver against our business plan.
It’s going to be the largest accommodation BID outside of central London in terms of the revenue it generates.” Manchester already has a BID for the city centre — CityCo — but that is geographic, not industry-related.Read more on manchestereveningnews.co.uk