Call for register of campsites to tackle over-tourism
The Wales Tourism Alliance (WTA) is calling for a register of pop-up campsites to tackle over-tourism.
The group says this would help councils manage unlicensed camp site accommodation across the country.
According to the WTA, the growth of new sites in some destinations has been pronounced, which has placed additional pressures on natural and built resources.
Under current rules 56-day pop-up campsites are permitted through the Welsh Government’s relaxation of the General Permitted Development Order.
The WTA argues that a register would also help authorities monitor usage and any breaches to the day time allowance.
Andrew Campbell, Chair of WTA said: “Our call for a National Register has been made to help manage the unprecedented demand of visitors to many parts of Wales.
“At the moment we have little idea of the number of new sites that have emerged or the number of visitors that are staying in destinations.
“Such information would help plan and manage resources more effectively. Put simply, what you cannot measure, you cannot manage.
“Sustainable development is crucial for the success of this industry – and key to that is the protection of communities, culture and landscape”.
Unlike licensed sites, which require formal planning permission and adherence to statutory requirements, developments under the 28/56 Day Rule are not restricted to limits on visitor numbers.
‘Incredibly busy season’
Dorothy Panton, Managing Director of Caerfai Bay Caravan and Tent Park, St Davids said: “It has been an incredibly busy season and there can be no doubt that high visitor numbers in the area have been swelled by the increase in unlicensed enterprises operating under the 56 Day Rule.
“This has resulted in several notable impacts including lower than usual water pressure triggering the need to replenish the St Davids Glasfryn Reservoir by water tankers”.
British Holiday and Home Parks Association Director General, Ros Pritchard said: “Whilst licensed businesses have to adhere to the conditions of licence and maintain quality standards, we have now come into direct competition with sites with no licence and little if any regulation. A level playing field is essential”.