Pay and stay – says local heritage chief.

Professor Barry Gilbertson

With increasing numbers of visitors Bath should be doing more to manage and market its status – and that includes introducing a voluntary tourist tax.

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That’s according to Professor Barry Gilbertson who is Chairman of the City of Bath UNESCO World Heritage Board.

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Professor Barry Gilbertson.

If you think that’s a mouthful of a title this is a man who isn’t slow in coming forward vocally with his observations and suggestions for promoting our World Heritage status city.

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Getting people to stay over is one way he wants to see visitors spend more time exploring the sights but he’s not so keen about the rise of Airbnb’s and Party Houses.

Next Tuesday B&NES holds a Scrutiny Panel to hear the views of its local businesses and citizens on that subject and Barry hopes regulations of some kind will follow.

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The scrutiny panel will meet at the Bath Guildhall.

He told Bath Newseum that a government official was due to visit Bath in a week or so to see for himself the impact these non-regulated enterprises were having.

We had our chat in a rather noisy Kingston Square and l asked him what effect increased numbers of tourists was having on the city.