Hotel owners to vote on Nottingham tourist tax plans that aim to bring in extra money and events

A general view of Nottingham city centre.
-Credit: (Image: Joseph Raynor/ Nottingham Post)

Plans to introduce a form of ‘tourist tax’ on hotel stays in Nottingham have taken a step forward. During a Nottingham City Council meeting on Monday (July 8), councillors formally supported plans to introduce a nightly £2 levy on providers of accommodation in Nottingham.

The levy could help bring in an extra £1.7m a year. Similar charges, often known as a “tourist tax” are typical in European countries such as Spain, Germany, Belgium and France, as well as in Canada, but they are not currently permitted by law in the UK.

But some UK cities, including Manchester, Liverpool and Bournemouth, have utilised a legal workaround to introduce a charge on visitors. The workaround is achieved through the creation of an ‘Accommodation BID’.

Get the latest news straight to your phone by joining us on WhatsApp

Business Improvement Districts (BIDs), non-profit organisations that are privately funded by businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors, are set up in cities to help encourage investment in and the growth of the local economy.

Nottingham’s BID, ‘It’s in Nottingham’, has tabled plans to introduce an Accommodation BID, through which it will be able to introduce a levy on accommodation providers. During Monday’s meeting Cllr Steve Battlemuch, who seconded the report, said: “This latest report talks about forming an Accommodation BID, which is where hotels charge a small amount to people who stay in hotels.

“That money then goes into a pot and it is used back for the promotion of the city.

“Accommodation BIDs have already happened in Liverpool and Manchester. Bournemouth is next in line and I think Nottingham would be the fourth.

“This is money that is not taxpayers’ money in Nottingham as such. That £2 is added on to a nightly stay in the hotel when they come to Nottingham.

“But that money as a pot would be used for attracting businesses and events to the city and it is something I am sure the city would welcome. I would encourage people to read the report and welcome it when it becomes a reality.”

Councillors agreed to approve It’s In Nottingham’s five-year business plan and instruct the council’s returning officer to hold a BID ballot for the proposed Accommodation BID. Accommodation providers will now vote for or against the plans, with a ballot planned for September.

In the event of a vote in favour of the Accommodation BID proposals, the council has agreed to collect the levy on behalf of It’s In Nottingham. BIDs are managed, and BID levy rates set, by its own elected board and not by the council itself.

Alex Flint, chief executive, It’s in Nottingham, previously told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “The proposed Nottingham Accommodation BID will enable strategic collaboration between hotel venues and place-making partners, attract more major events, including sport, music and entertainment to the city, and secure the long-term strength of Nottingham’s economy and visitor appeal.”