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Tuesday 4 April 2023

Welcome to our city. Now pay up.

Going to Thailand? Be prepared to pay a new "entry tax".

Bound for Italy? Get ready to pay up to enter Venice from next year.

New taxes on tourists are a trend right around the world, whether you cough up to enter a country, pay a bed tax, or are hit for an exit payment.

Now the British city of Manchester, known for Coronation Street, the Manchester Ship Canal and a couple of decent football teams, has become the first city in the UK to impose a separate levy on visitors.

The City Visitor Charge will be £1 ($1.85 AUD) per room per night for guests at all accommodation providers.

Not a lot, but enough to be annoying.

The city expects it will raise about £3 million a year, much of which will no doubt be devoured by administration costs.

Travel Mole reports that the Manchester tourism tax "will help fund various tourist initiatives".

This will include running large events and conferences, street cleanliness and tourism marketing.

It will generate "new events and activities", says Manchester City Council Chief Executive Joanne Roney, who rather bizarrely described the slug as an "innovative initiative".

MCC says 73 hotels and serviced apartments have so far signed up to impose the City Visitor Charge and other UK cities are reportedly looking closely at how the system works.

Edinburgh is planning to impose a £2 tourist tax subject to Scottish Parliament approval and Wales also has plans to introduce a tourist fee.

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