BID News

New BID proposal for BCP could see £2 million raised from tourism tax

By Andrew Diprose [email protected]

Published: February 19, 2024 | Updated: 19th February 2024

The first Accommodation Business Improvement District in a coastal destination could be coming to Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.

Around 70 accommodation providers will decide whether or not to introduce a charge for tourists in a bid to raise more than £2 million annually.

They’ll vote in April on the new Accommodation BID (ABID) concept, which would operate in a similar way to the current Business Improvement District scheme.

Subject to consultation, the £2 million raised would be used for:

  • International and domestic destination marketing, PR & events for leisure and business.
  • Destination placemaking and logistics.
  • Destination showcasing, funding and partnerships.

The ABID proposal has been described as “bold and exciting”.

Similar schemes are operating in Liverpool and Manchester.

Rosie Radwell from the Marsham Court Hotel, who is chairing the Shadow Board, said: “Destinations are having to come up with different ways to remain competitive. This requires new ways of thinking and investment.

“Manchester and Liverpool have been the first places to introduce Accommodation BIDs and we want to be a step ahead and become the first coastal destination to do so.”

David Bailey, President of BH Area Hospitality Association (BAHA) and Vice Chair of the Shadow Board, added: “The great thing about this concept is it is based on performance, hotels will only contribute commensurate with their occupancy.

“Going forward it will also mean the management and development of our visitor offering will largely be in the hands of the industry.”

Andy Lennox, Chair of the Destination Management Board (DMB), said: “The DMB is committed to a cross-sector and bi-partisan approach to getting this destination back on track.

“The ABID is a unique proposition for our three towns and its swift implementation is one of the most important opportunities for our local business community both now and in the future.

“Its successful delivery will reverberate around the conurbation for many years to come.

“We are committed to ensuring that it is successful and that it helps delivers a clean, green, safe, vibrant and eventful conurbation for businesses and residents in the future.”

The ABID proposal has been welcomed by the Leader of BCP Council.

Cllr Vikki Slade said: “We as a council welcome the industry’s pro-active approach and are excited at the prospect of working in partnership with the proposed new Accommodation BID, to deliver a more productive and resilient visitor economy and destination management.

“As the council moves to a new way of working, as an enabler rather than deliverer, we will do everything within our power to help the process to a successful conclusion.”

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