‘Sick to death!’ More calls for Bournemouth tourist tax amid ‘appalling’ litter on beaches

Prince George 'confused' by people littering in the streets

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Dorset resident Maris Lake has proposed a tax on tourists to Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole, as he believes they are at fault for the litter that covers local beaches.

Maris started a petition on Change.org. It read: “Every year – especially after the Covid lockdown – BPC’s sandy beaches are getting more and more trashed.

“This is done mostly by outside travellers who travel long hours from far away to spend a day or two in our top five most beautiful beaches in Europe – Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole’s sandy beaches.

“I am calling on BCP council to introduce a tourism tax to anyone who enters the BCP area and isn’t local nor has any connections to the area (family, relatives, etc). This would be in place during the summer season and on a certain distance from the sea front.”

He suggested that permits could be granted for family members coming to visit.

Maris proposed that the money made from the tourist tax could be used “for much needed BCP improvements” – cleaning the beaches and beyond.

Maris was certainly not alone in his desire to take action against messy tourists.

The petition, which has already been signed by 399 people, appears to have been a hit.

Many residents have taken to Change.org to explain why they have decided to sign the petition.

Margaret George stated: “I just cannot believe how people leave this appalling mess and dangerous for humans and sea creatures as well as birds. Unbelievable.”

Gillian Stevens added: “Many countries in Europe have a tourist tax, added to the accommodation charges and it doesn’t seem to stop folks travelling to Europe, so why not here?

“I think visitors should contribute to the additional services required over the summer months.”

Yvonne Bush suggested a further measure: “There should be heavy fines for littering.”

Christine Ashton stated: “I am tired of seeing litter all over our beaches and selfish parking.”

Tracey Christopher-Scott shared this lament: “As a Bournemouth resident over the months of April and September, my husband and I can’t get anywhere near the beach, due to the crowds and lack of parking.

“Plus, the money brought in by a tourism tax will help the council with the cost of the clean up during the summer season.”

Michael Finch suggested that the drawbacks of tourism to the area outweighs the positives.

Despite the fact that the “influx” of tourists does bring in financial gain, he said this was “outstripped” by the amount of litter left on beaches.

Paul Marsh said: “Locals are sick to death of the state the beaches are left in, plus the cost to clear it up.

“Bottom line is if you are visiting Dorset beaches, clear up your c**p or just stay at home if you can’t be bothered.”

What the local residents all agreed on was litter on beaches has become a huge and unsightly issue in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.

However, is this all down to visitors? Frances Peebles asked: “Is it just tourists who create this litter?”

He suggested that local residents could monitor the situation more closely, and that tourists who drop litter should be challenged.

David Marina offered an alternative solution to bring more money into the community: charging visitors for use of sun beds and umbrellas.

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