Manchester’s new ‘tourist tax’ has raised nearly £3 million in its first year

Funds from the 'City Visitor Charge' have so far been spent on street cleaning, marketing campaigns, and more.

Emily Sergeant Emily Sergeant - 9th April 2024

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

In case you weren’t aware, on 1 April 2023, after widespread rumours and following a vote in favour of the new initiative back in autumn 2022, a ‘City Visitor Charge’ was officially introduced here in Manchester, and it means that anyone visiting has to pay to stay in the majority of the city’s accommodation facilities.

The City Visitor Charge is a supplementary £1 charge per room/unit per night for guests, and it’s added to the final accommodation bill.

The charge is currently being collected from 73 hotels and serviced apartments that fall within the Manchester ABID Zone.

The Manchester ABID Zone was established as the Manchester Accommodation Business Improvement District (BID) began its operations on the same date as the introduction of the City Visitor Charge last year, and it’s the first initiative of its kind in the UK.


The pioneering initiative – which is led by Manchester’s hotel and serviced apartment providers – was formed as part of a push to keep occupancy rates high in the city amid fears that visitor numbers were not keeping pace with new developments, as more and more tourist hotels and apartments are built across the region.

Manchester ABID’s main aim is to “deliver better visitor experiences” and drive more staying visitors to the city centre.


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 ultimately contribute to driving tourists and overnight stays – including marketing campaigns, securing large-scale events, conferences, and festivals in low-season months, and improving overall street cleanliness.

And it sounds like that’s exactly what the almost £2.8 million raised from the Charge within its first year has gone towards.

Funds from the Charge have so far been spent on street cleaning, marketing campaigns, and more / Credit: Manchester City Council

Kumar Mishra, who is the chairman of Manchester Accommodation BID, said the raised from the Charge within its first year has 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, and training has also been offered to security staff too.

Funds have also gone on extra street cleaning around the city centre.

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

Featured Image – Marketing Manchester