City of Bath plans tourist levy to support heritage, arts and culture; Tom Anstey; Leisure Opportunities

UK – City of Bath

Councillors in Bath are looking to cash in on the 5.8 million tourists that visit the historic city each year, with plans to introduce a bed tax that could raise millions of pounds for the British UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The council’s Operation Plan – a £1 nightly surcharge per room – would not affect tourism, but would boost city coffers.

According to the plan, a nightly surcharge on rooms would generate around £2.4m (US$3.3m, €2.7m) a year, which would be reinvested into the local area to help maintain more than 5,000 listed assets and support the public realm, arts and culture.

“Visitors are important to our economy, but they also impact upon council resources and services,” it says. “If a local tourism levy was introduced, it would help.”

Previous attempts by the city to introduce the tax had been rebuffed by the government.

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