Visit Manchester backs TIF bid

Rachael Tinniswood

Visit Manchester has thrown its weight behind United City, the alliance of businesses from across Greater Manchester supporting the TIF bid, after a new document highlighted the huge benefits a successful bid could bring.

The organisation's new research paper document looked into the relationship between tourism and transport, and highlighted the importance of the TIF investment to the city's tourism sector.

Visit Manchester also found that the fund would allow the introduction of a multi-mode integrated ticketing system, similar to London's Oyster Card, which would make a visit to the city more attractive to tourists.

The paper also found that:

· Transport is a key area for investment if Greater Manchester is to evolve as an international destination for tourists and business visitors – with the £3bn TIF investment the only realistic source of significant funding;

· London's congestion charge has been of net benefit to key tourism sectors: hotel, restaurant and retail;

· The Oyster Card-style integrated ticketing system within TIF is one of the most important elements of the proposals.

Paul Simpson, managing director of Visit Manchester, said: "We researched the potential impact of TIF on Greater Manchester's tourist industry to help formulate our position on these proposals, and the conclusions are clear – the opportunity afforded by the Transport Innovation Fund bid is vital to the future of Manchester as a tourist destination.

"As a modern city we need to continue to push the boundaries and embrace new ideas. A public transport system that reflects these ideals – moving visitors around the city-region with ease and in a way that enhances their experience – is crucial if we are to compete with the leading cities in Europe and across the world."

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