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Saturday 30 March 2024

Meet the famous English city that wants to gouge tourists

Most cities see tourism as a positive factor; helping local businesses by providing extra income.

But some cities in the UK, which have long promoted themselves as being tourist friendly, now see visitors as a cash cow.

One example is the university city of Cambridge, which is considering imposing a tourist tax at hotels.

Cambridge City Council is looking at a £2 per night hotel tax per room per night for properties with at least 10 rooms.

It would then increase £3 nightly in the third year.

A feasibility study commissioned by the council, the tax could raise up £2.6 million per year. And lose goodness knows how much more in goodwill. Many tourists hate being nickled and dimed.

The city would apparently set up a special organisation that would would manage the collection of the hotel tax. At a cost goodness knows how much cost.

The proposed tax would not affect short-term rentals or colleges which rent out rooms outside of term times, Travel Mole and the BBC report.

“In order for the [organisation] to be established, there needs to be a ballot of the hotels within that catchment area. It’s not something the council can decide,” said Jemma Little, economic development manager at Cambridge City Council.

Manchester recently announced a £1 plus VAT per room, per night hotel tax.

If proposals are approved, the new Cambridge system could start as soon as next year.

Labour councillor Cameron Holloway said: "I think it's a great initiative and one that would be really positive for the city."

So there it is. Cambridge is ready to gouge tourists. It is hard to see two quid a night discouraging anyone from visiting, but it is probably enough to annoy visitors.  

Fortunately, there are lots of alternative places to stay. 

Where tourists are made welcome. 


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