BOURNEMOUTH, Christchurch and Poole is set to be the first coastal area to install a tourist tax which could generate more than £12 million over five years.

After a successful consultation, the Accommodation BID (Business Improvement District) will launch a visitor charge of around £2 per night.

This is said to be similar to what tourists pay in Europe and the USA, with money being invested into the area.

The funds will also help sustain and develop large-scale events such as the Air Festival, Arts by the Sea, Poole Christmas Maritime and Christmas Tree Wonderland.

Destination Management Board chair, Andy Lennox, said the approval of ABID is an “historic moment for the towns”.

He said: “As a destination, and making sure that that destination is the best it can possibly be with the most eventful things that can happen, it's just wicked.

“So, to have that money coming in through the visitor levy is incredibly important.

“I don't think we have been in a situation for the last 15 years where we have had this amount of money to be able to spend on the area.”

He added: “There's no point in marketing those towns if those towns aren't looking absolutely tip top.

“So the first thing basically is all around safe, secure and green.”

  • What do you think about the tourist tax? Send us your views for publication at

Rosie Radwell, Marsham Court Hotel and chair of the Shadow ABID Board, said: “This is good news for the destination, and we are thrilled that the Accommodation Providers have voted in favour of the ABID.

“The additional funds raised will have a huge impact on the future of tourism in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.

“On behalf of the volunteer Shadow ABID Board, I would like to thank our fellow Accommodation Providers for recognising the power of partnership working and the necessity to act now.

“We are excited about the future and have already started to plan projects and events to enhance tourism in the area”.

Following the consultation, 31 businesses in the industry voted on the proposal, with 16 voting in favour.

The levy of £2 per night for visitors at large accommodation providers will begin on July 1, 2024.