Dorset resident Maris Lake has proposed a tax on tourists to Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole because he believes they are responsible for the litter that covers local beaches.
Maris started a petition on Change.org. It said: “Every year – especially after the Covid lockdown – the sandy beaches of BPC are getting more and more trashed.
“This is mainly done by outside travelers who travel long hours from afar to spend a day or two at our top five beaches in Europe – Bournemouth, Christchurch and the sandy beaches of Poole.
“I call on the BCP council to introduce a tourist tax for anyone who enters the BCP area and is not local or has ties to the region (family, relatives, etc.). This would be in place during the summer season and at some distance from the seafront.”
He suggested permits could be given to visiting family members.
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Maris proposed that money from the tourist tax could be used “for much-needed BCP improvements” – beach cleanups and beyond.
Maris was certainly not alone in wanting to take action against disorderly tourists.
The petition, which has already been signed by 399 people, appears to have been a success.
Many locals took to Change.org to explain why they decided to sign the petition.
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Christine Ashton said: ‘I’m tired of seeing litter all over our beaches and selfish car parks.
Tracey Christopher-Scott shared this lament: “As a resident of Bournemouth during the months of April and September, my husband and I cannot get near the beach, due to the crowds and lack of parking.
“In addition, the money brought in by a tourist tax will help the council with the cost of cleaning during the summer season.”
Michael Finch has suggested that the disadvantages of tourism in the area outweigh the positives.
Despite the fact that the “influx” of tourists brings financial gain, he said this was “outweighed” by the amount of litter left on the beaches.
Paul Marsh said: “Locals are fed up with the state the beaches are left in, plus the cost of cleaning them up.
“At the end of the day, if you’re visiting Dorset beaches, clean up your c**p or just stay home if you can’t be bothered.”
What local residents all agreed on was that beach litter has become a huge and unsightly problem in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.
However, does it all depend on the visitors? Frances Peebles asked: “Is it just tourists creating this litter?”
He suggested that local residents monitor the situation more closely and that tourists who litter be challenged.
David Marina proposed an alternative solution to bring more money to the community: charge visitors for the use of sun loungers and umbrellas.