The National Rural Conference 2024

The Rural Services Network (RSN) is thrilled to announce the National Rural Conference 2024, taking place from 16th to 19th September. This virtual event, accessible via Zoom, is the premier gathering for senior officers, members, policymakers, and rural service professionals.
Further information and booking details can be found here

Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Hotels Vote for 'Tourist Tax’

As reported in the Press, The first coastal 'tourist tax' in the UK is set to be introduced in Dorset, targeting visitors to Bournemouth, Christchurch, and Poole from July 1st. The Accommodation Business Improvement District (ABID) spearheaded the initiative, with hoteliers voting to impose a £2 levy per room, per night, on guests staying in larger hotels. This measure aims to generate £12 million over the next five years to support and develop local events such as the Bournemouth Air Festival, Arts by the Sea, Poole Christmas Maritime, and Christmas Tree Wonderland.

Rosie Radwell, Chair of the shadow ABID board and representative from Marsham Court Hotel, emphasised the tax's potential to significantly impact the future of tourism in the area. She acknowledged the importance of collaboration among local accommodation providers and expressed excitement about upcoming projects to boost tourism.

BCP Council has supported this move, viewing it as a crucial step towards creating a more resilient and productive visitor economy. Despite English councils lacking the authority to impose tourist taxes directly, some, like Manchester and Liverpool, have implemented similar measures through legal workarounds.

The additional income from the tourist tax will be vital for enhancing local services, ensuring that popular events and attractions continue to thrive, and providing a better experience for visitors and residents alike. The funds will help sustain and expand cultural and recreational activities, contributing to the overall vibrancy and appeal of the region.

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