MPs to look at how UK Government can help Wales stop ‘punching below its weight’ in attracting tourists
Welsh MPs are to look at why Wales “punches below its weight” in attracting more tourists and what the UK Government could do to change that.
The House of Commons’ Welsh Affairs Committee has today launched an inquiry which seeks to explore what steps the UK Government can take to help “establish Wales as a global tourist destination”.
The Welsh Government is responsible for developing and promoting Wales’ tourism sector, but the UK Government oversees areas that impact tourism in Wales such as pan-UK connectivity, border control and Air Passenger Duty.
The committee will look at how bodies like VisitBritain and Visit Wales can “better work together” to make Wales a more attractive destination, and what impact a tourism tax would have on visitor numbers.
They will also consider whether Wales has a sufficiently strong “brand” internationally and what more could be done to promote Wales as a holiday destination abroad.
The committee chaired by Conservative MP Stephen Crabb will also look at attracting international visitors to Wales, connectivity and taxation measures to support the tourism sector, and the recovery from the covid-19 pandemic through the UK Government’s Tourism Recovery Plan.
“The coronavirus crisis cost the Welsh tourism sector around £6 billion in 2020, but even pre-pandemic Wales has punched below its weight in attracting visitors from around the world,” Preseli Pembrokeshire MP Stephen Crabb said.
“With the UK Government charting a course towards recovery for every nation in the Union, it is vitally important that we look at how to invigorate the Welsh visitor economy. Through this inquiry, we hope to establish how to support Wales to become the global tourist destination it deserves to be.”
The Committee is inviting written evidence responding to the following questions, with a deadline for Thursday 31st March.
They include ‘Why is the number of international visitors to Wales comparatively low as a share of the UK total?’ and ‘What infrastructure and transport reforms are needed to make it easier for international tourists to reach Welsh destinations and attractions?’
Evidence can be submitted to the committee here.
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