City fees are the new members-only clubs—we keep seeing more and more of them, and nobody really likes it.
Following in the footsteps of other iconic cities like Italy’s very own Venice, Manchester, UK is now introducing a new fee for visitors starting this Saturday, April 1. While our eyebrows might raise and our noses wrinkle, it actually is for a good cause.
The fee is aimed to help the city government make your stay the best it can be. According to the newly formed Accommodation Business Improvement District (BID), the funds will be used to make guests feel welcome and to improve street cleanliness, amplify marketing campaigns, and invest in the local economy to secure large-scale events, conferences, and even festivals. In short, it is intended to serve the city as well as its residents and tourists.
It will be just like local taxes and hotel surcharges that travelers are already used to seeing in the US. The cost will be £1 (roughly $1.23) per room/unit per night for visitors, and it will be added to the final accommodation bill payable by guests. It will then be collected by the BID, and applied to the aforementioned sectors to guarantee a better and wider visitor experience.
Manchester is the first UK city to introduce its own tourist tax. With the additional revenue, BID officials are looking forward to bringing to life their new vision for Manchester, and are already promising that the funds will directly benefit the city’s initiatives and projects. On that note, BID Chair and General Manager of Hampton by Hilton Manchester Northern Quarter Annie Brown shared in a statement:
“I’m looking forward to working with my colleagues on the Board to steer the Manchester Accommodation BID in the right direction, making sure we’re squeezing everything we can out of every pound we take from via the City Visitor Charge, and being part of the first Accommodation BID in the country—another Manchester first.”
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