Dorset resident Maris Lake has suggested to tax on tourists because he believes they are responsible for polluting the local beaches around Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole. He started a petition on Change.org earlier this week calling on the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) council to introduce a tourist tax.
He wrote: “Every year – especially after the Covid lockdown – BCP’s sandy beaches are more and more devastated.
“This is usually done by remote travelers who travel long hours from far away to spend a day or two on our most beautiful beaches.
“I call on the BCP Council to introduce a tourist tax for anyone entering the BCP area who is not local and also has no connections to the area (family, relatives, etc.).
“This would be in place during the summer season and at a certain distance from the coast.”
The petition has garnered more than 400 signatures, and Mr. Lake suggested the money raised from the tax could be spent on “much-needed BCP improvements,” including cleaning the beaches.
However, local Conservative councilor Beverley Dunlop said maintenance of the beach will come “at no cost to local taxpayers”.
She said: “All our leisure, culture, events and festivals are paid for with seaside revenues, which also bring in millions of pounds to support other services.
“Taxing visitors would be an extraordinary move for a UK destination, highly impractical, invasive and would actively deter visitors, jeopardizing all the benefits they bring to our area. Visitors and locals all play a part in respecting our coast.
“We welcome anyone who appreciates the beauty and vibrancy of the BCP area. We encourage those visitors to stay in our hotels and enjoy our coast and cities at any time.”
Many Britons are choosing to holiday in the UK after the pandemic, and some Devon residents have expressed disappointment at the loss of the county’s coastline.
Suzy Bennett said she moved from London to Devon 14 years ago to enjoy the ‘raw, wild countryside’ of the county.
In The Telegraph she wrote: “It is no longer a place you pass through on your way to Cornwall, but a destination in its own right.
“Single carriageways are clogged with cars and coaches. The landscape and coastline are swallowed up by huge caravan parks.
“And there is a chronic housing shortage, in part because homeowners rent out their homes to the lucrative vacation rental market rather than the locals.”
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