Manchester becomes the first UK city to charge an overnight accommodation fee, which is part of the new Manchester Accommodation Business Improvement District (BID) initiative.

The City Visitor Charge will be collected from 73 hotels and serviced apartments that are located within the Manchester Accommodation BID zone and applies to all bookings from 1 April 2023. The £1 nightly charge per room or unit is added to the final accommodation bill.

The initiative is expected to raise £3 million per year which will be used for marketing campaigns designed to increase overnight stays, as well as helping to secure more large-scale events and conferences. It also aims to “improve guest welcome and street cleanliness”.

Manchester Accommodation BID board chair Annie Brown, who is also general manager for Hampton by Hilton Manchester Northern Quarter, said: “This is a historic moment – the accommodation sector in and around Manchester is growing rapidly, with almost 6,000 new bedrooms incoming over the next few years.

“The goal of the Manchester Accommodation BID is simple – we need to increase overnight stays in line with that growth so that hotels and serviced apartments in the city can continue to thrive.”

Brown said the new initiative has been supported by accommodation providers and it would allow the sector in Manchester to work together to achieve their “shared objective of increasing occupancy”.
Other European cities, such as Venice, Barcelona and Rome, have introduced similar charges for overnight stays, while Edinburgh has also been considering implementing a tourist tax.

Joanne Roney, CEO of Manchester City Council, added: “This innovative initiative will enhance the experience of visitors to Manchester by creating new events and activities for them to enjoy. 

“It is anticipated to generate around £3 million of funds a year which will be invested directly into these activities, supporting Manchester’s accommodation sector to protect and create jobs and benefiting the city’s economy as a whole.”

By Rob Gill