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‘Bully boy’ Welsh Ministers’ banned from leading tourist attraction

09 Aug 2022 4 minute read
Dinosaur sculptures at Dan yr Ogof. Photo by Nilfanion is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.

One of Wales oldest family attractions has banned Welsh Government Ministers as a protest against proposals to change the rules governing self-catering holiday accommodation and plans to introduce a tourist tax.

Ministers have been told they are not welcome at ‘Dan Yr Ogof’ – The National Showcaves Centre for Wales and a sign is being displayed in the caves ticket office window blaming the government’s tourism policies for the ban.

The Welsh Government is proposing to give councils the powers to add a tax on overnight stays in their part of the country – saying it can ease pressure on tourism communities and help pay for additional services – but says the introduction of a tax is “years” away.

New measures are also being introduced to determine if self-catering holiday accommodation operators qualify for business rate relief.

Under the proposals, the number of days a self-catering business must be open will increase to 252 days a year (an 80% increase.) and the property must then be let out for 182 days an increase of 150%.

At present to be classed as a business in Wales, self-catering operators have to be open for holiday bookings for 140 days a year, and their properties must be let for 70 days a year.

Surveys conducted by the Wales Tourism Alliance suggest that only of self-caterers in Wales will be able to reach this figure, potentially forcing closures and causing redundancies.

First Ministers

Ashford Price, Chairman of Dan Yr Ogof said: I have had the pleasure of meeting two First Ministers for Wales at the Caves.

“The late Rhodri Morgan and Carwyn Jones on more than one occasion and they were always genuinely interested in tourism.

“However, the present Welsh Government with their anti-tourism policies namely the 182-day rule, the proposed tourism tax, and planned alterations to the main summer holidays clearly show that they do not understand or care that their actions will decimate seasonal tourism businesses in Wales.

“Thirty per cent of self-catering businesses are forecast to close, with a resulting loss of 1400 Welsh jobs.

“Is it any wonder that some operators in Welsh tourism are now holding back on any future investment in Wales?

“With the resultant job losses, soon the only growth area in Welsh tourism will be the growth in redundant tourism operators claiming ‘benefits.

“The Welsh Government have used ‘bully boys’ tactics to bulldoze through these new laws, ignoring tourism opposition and leading experts advising against these new proposals.

“For the Welsh Government to take these actions, especially during a cost-of-living crisis, and a recession starting this Autumn that according to the Bank of England will last for over a year and with inflation rising to 13% next year is complete economic madness!

“80% of all visitors to Wales are English and many of these new policies will be seen as anti-English by the English media.

“Wales will pay a heavy price if our main tourism market refuses to pay the proposed tourism tax, and vote with their feet and go elsewhere”.

“In a recession people will be looking for ‘bargain holidays’ not holiday regions where you pay a tax for visiting them.”

Council tax

In parallel with the rate relief changes, from next year councils in Wales will be given the power to charge up to an extra 300% council tax on self-catering businesses that fail to get their properties let for 182 days.

There are approximately 8000 self-catering properties in Wales, generating approximately £134 million every year for the Welsh economy and sustaining approximately 4700 jobs.

The Welsh Government said that their changes would stop second home owners from classifying homes as businesses because they are let out for one fifth of the year.

“As part of the Co-operation Agreement with Plaid Cymru, we are committed to taking immediate action to address the impact of second homes and unaffordable housing in communities across Wales, using the planning, property and taxation systems,” Economy Minister Rebecca Evans said.

“As we continue to progress the package of measures and drawing on the latest evidence base, we will keep under constant review the whole range of levers available to use and how they may be deployed most effectively to meet our policy objectives and avoid any unintended consequences.”


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Gareth Plas
Gareth Plas
1 month ago

Wow, that will keep them awake at night. Wouldn’t happen to be English these people would they?

CommonSense
CommonSense
1 month ago

The dinosaurs at Dan Yr Ogof aren’t just plastic

Ann
Ann
1 month ago

I thought about visiting Dan yr Ogof as haven’t been there for years but discovered that for myself, husband, son, daughter-in-law and 3 year old grandson it would cost £87, yes they charge for children from age 3! If their visitor numbers drop they only have themselves to blame!

Tom Bennett
Tom Bennett
1 month ago

I have no intention of visiting Dan Yr Ogof while Ashford Price runs it.

Y Cymro,
Y Cymro,
1 month ago
Reply to  Tom Bennett

he’s going to lose sleep over this

lufcwls
lufcwls
1 month ago
Reply to  Tom Bennett

Same, sounds like a horrible guy.

Notttabottt
Notttabottt
1 month ago

Guess I am never going there again then

One of the two witnesses
One of the two witnesses
1 month ago

Oh no! The self-publicist Ashole Wipe is making more ridiculous pronouncements about his tatty little attraction just because he has a meltdown that nobody will vote his beloved Tories in.

hdavies15
hdavies15
1 month ago

I can think of a few reasons for wishing to ban Ministers, but their belated actions in connection with tourism, holiday homes etc are certainly not on that list. It’s their uncritical approach to handing out loot to any old sioni hoi that trots across the border and into the Bay that angers me. Wake up Mr Price, tacky tat should not earn any favours anywhere.

The Original Mark
The Original Mark
1 month ago

I live about 20 minutes from Dan yr Ogof, I’ve never been a paying visitor, the only time I did go there was during the F&M outbreak, when a group of us including a very enthusiastic Mr Price, planned to kidnap Mike German (he was deputy first minister for Wales at the time) the plan was to lock him in one of the caves, until the press arrived, The morning it was supposed to happen I believe the entire South Wales police were there, special branch, helicopters the full works, quite impressive for such a mediocre politician, The side road… Read more »

One of the two witnesses
One of the two witnesses
1 month ago

Doesn’t SOUND like you ran circles around them. And thank you for wasting police resources.
Oh wait … you made it all up … oh what a wit you are

One of the two witnesses
One of the two witnesses
1 month ago

Blydi autocorrect! *twit

The Original Mark
The Original Mark
1 month ago

I could tell you about the time the “spokesman” for our group managed to get hold of Blair when he visited Wales, or maybe you’d be more interested in the meetings we had in the Senedd or the members of the EU parliament we managed to get to visit the site and carry out a review of the governments actions, The one I remember the best is the evening we nearly turned Carwyn Jones chauffeur driven car over when he visited Llandovery to appear on Ffermio, apparently he still remembers that as well, I could tell you about the young… Read more »

One of the two witnesses
One of the two witnesses
1 month ago

By taking direct action you mean non-strategic, emotionally motivated, criminality, kicking up an unnecessary fuss and wasting resources because “you know best”? Okay got it.
🙄
No, I’m impressed honestly. I didn’t think such dumbassery still happened.

Llyn
Llyn
1 month ago

Things that will not happen – “Thirty per cent of self-catering businesses are forecast to close, with a resulting loss of 1400 Welsh jobs”.

Remember what the CBI said about the minimum wage – 500,000 jobs to go!

Clive Thomas
Clive Thomas
1 month ago

Always wanted to visit Danyrogof, but thanks to this piece of publicity decided now I shan’t bother. Wales has more serious problems and introducing a tourist tax will go some way towards paying for the damage that it inflicts on the economy and the environment.

One of the two witnesses
One of the two witnesses
1 month ago
Reply to  Clive Thomas

The caves themselves are beautiful (I went years ago before I knew Assfart Schytte existed).
But the tatty fibreglass dinosaurs, dangerous playground and classless cafe/shop are what happens when an unimaginative shark opens a tourist trap. He really should be forced to rename the place. “National Showcaves of Wales” suggests a granting of official status and something approaching an educational environment with the gravitas of a natural wonder. “Assfart’s caves and Plastic Dinos Park” is a more appropriate name.

The Original Mark
The Original Mark
1 month ago

“80% of all visitors to Wales are English and many of these new policies will be seen as anti-English by the English media.

“The EU have introduced a fee of 7 euros for those travelling from non-member states, following brexit, this of course includes the UK”

According to the English media, this is anti english,

Glyn Jones
Glyn Jones
1 month ago

A national boycott of this company should be organised. Wales is nothing to them but a resource to pimp out and exploit.

Last edited 1 month ago by Glyn Jones
R W
R W
1 month ago

Just the usual hysterical nonsense from AP. Is it any wonder that no-one with even half a brain believes a single word that comes out of his mouth!! The best thing to do is to simply ignore him.

Erisian
Erisian
1 month ago

Let’s make one thing very clear: The Welsh Government are not anti-tourist, just pro-resident citizen.

Rhosddu
Rhosddu
1 month ago

Tourism has had its own way for too long in Wales, with a deleterious effect on the environment and on the quality of life of local residents. Any national measures that help to mitigate the impact of tourism should be applauded. But this man Price just doesn’t get it.

One of the two witnesses
One of the two witnesses
1 month ago

Honestly though, where does Asshat Prance get his “statistics” from? I’m guessing it’s from the cave betwixt his sitting down cheeks.

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