As a California resident, I know a thing or two about being taxed. While I’m busy pushing back my annual tax appointment for the third time, I know it can’t be avoided. And, as if concerns over my income taxes aren’t enough, now I have to learn about tourist taxes.
Tourist taxes, also known as hotel taxes or visitor charges, are increasingly being implemented in European cities. Manchester is the latest addition to the list of cities charging a tourist tax in the UK. The new visitor charge, set to begin on April 1, 2023, will charge visitors staying in city-center hotels or rental apartments per room for each night of stay. The nightly charge will be £1 ($1.23) per room, and it is expected to raise £3 million ($3.6 million) annually to help build local infrastructure.
The initiative is the first of its kind in the UK but follows the success of similar ones in tourist destinations like Venice, Barcelona, and Rome. In November 2022, Edinburgh also announced plans to charge visitors £2 ($2.46) per night to stay in the historic city in the near future.
Tourist taxes are becoming increasingly popular as they help to fund local infrastructure and tourism initiatives. They also act as a source of revenue for local governments, making them more self-sufficient. Visitors may have concerns about the additional charge, but it is often minimal compared to the overall cost of travel. And if you just don’t look at the bill at all, like me, there’s no harm!