IN April, Manchester was the first UK city to adopt a tourist tax for those visiting the city, an idea that continues to gain traction in the Lake District where some think a similar policy would work. 

The think-tank, Northern Powerhouse Partnership, estimates that adding a £1 a night levy to each hotel stay could raise almost £428 million a year across the country, and £59.8m in the northwest (based on a 65 per cent occupancy rate).

The funding being collected by Manchester is being reinvested back into the tourism industry, such as The Manchester Accommodation BID - an initiative led by the city’s hotel providers to help create new events to attract people to visit the city.

Whilst critics of the idea claim a similar policy would drive visitors away, Henri Murison, chief executive of NPP, said that is 'underselling Cumbria'. 

“A small charge per night isn’t enough to put off people visiting the Lake District – and it is underselling Cumbria to argue that," he said.

"It’s standard practice across many European destinations and means that there is the opportunity to invest in protecting nature or improving public transport options for example.

“In Manchester, they are using the funds specifically to promote tourism and increase occupancy levels, which in turn delivers a boost to hotels and the wider economy. 

“A small levy on overnight visitors or an entry charge per car for those from outside Cumbria would give the Lake District the investment it needs to remain a world-class tourist destination.

"It is about finding the right balance of between industry and community priorities."

Polling by Responsible Travel showed that 90 per cent of respondents would be willing to pay a tax ranging from £2 to £10 per night, with the proceeds earmarked for reinvestment into local nature conservation efforts with the Lake District. 

With millions of visitors flocking to the Lake District every year, an overnight tourism levy could raise an extra £17.5m for the Lake District National Park.

Gill Haigh, managing director of Cumbria Tourism, said they would be 'open to discussions' on a levy being introduced but are aware it may impact visitor behaviour.