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MPs to look at how UK Government can help Wales stop ‘punching below its weight’ in attracting tourists

08 Feb 2022 2 minute read
Tourism on Snowdon. Picture by Hefin Owen (CC BY-SA 2.0).

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.

‘Global destination’

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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GW Atkinson
GW Atkinson
7 months ago

Great idea, lets enable the industry that is overpricing homes in our own country for us. The problem is that we are under occupation and our government doesn’t have the powers that the English have over us.

Llefain
Llefain
7 months ago

Simple. Stop appealing only to English people.
Embrace our unique identity more. Emphasise and promote different cultural and folk traditions and events, and the language. Make ourselves more unique, so people don’t see us as part of England that can be skipped when they come to visit London and maybe pop to Scotland.

But I doubt this committee would agree, even if it were any of their business.

hdavies15
hdavies15
7 months ago
Reply to  Llefain

Your fears are well founded. The UK Gov see Wales as a source of natural resources – water, renewable energy,- and some kind of playground with second homes, Airbnb rentals, chalet parks, caravan parks, zipwire venues, white water kayaking etc all provided for those who pop down for a week or two to enjoy while the surviving natives will serve meals and drinks, wash dishes and generally clean up after the visitors. There will be some business communities surviving along the M4 and A55 but they will be run from Bristol Severnside and Mersey/Lancs hubs. Dystopian isn’t strong enough to… Read more »

DaWag
DaWag
7 months ago

‘What infrastructure and transport reforms are needed to make it easier for international tourists to reach Welsh destinations and attractions?’

What about houses and transport for local people?

Rob
Rob
7 months ago

Wales needs to appeal to the world and not just to the rest of the UK. If for one am sick and tired of going abroad and being asked ‘Where is Wales, isn’t that part of England? I would suggest looking how its done in Scotland or Ireland. A Hollywood film about Owain Glyndwr (a Welsh equivalent to Braveheart). A way for Welsh Americans to trace their ancestry, and of course better transport links to Wales. This means improvements between north and south, and the devolution of Air Passenger Duty. We shouldn’t be denied this just to keep Bristol happy.… Read more »

Gareth W
Gareth W
7 months ago

The last thing we need is ‘help’ from Westminster MPs, who only serve Westminster’s interests

NOT Grayham Jones
NOT Grayham Jones
7 months ago

This is good to hear Wales has it all potentially as a global tourist destination. Obviously it needs promoting by The UK and Welsh Govt. It saddens me when i see comments from people who are basically anti tourist who fail to see the potential for everyone in Wales this industry has. Llefain says rightly to stop appealing to just English visitors – That is exactly what they are trying to do.

Grayham Jones
7 months ago

As long as it’s run by welsh people only not incomers so the money stays in wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

Carol Loughlin
Carol Loughlin
7 months ago
Reply to  Grayham Jones

*Welsh

Paul
Paul
7 months ago

Tourism contributes roughly the same percentage of GDP here as it does over the border. Yet twice as many people are employed in the sector. That speaks to a low wage, limited opportunity sector overall. Low wages mean inability to purchase homes. That has a massive knock on effect on our communities. What is required is to elevate the value of the offer so that it is actually of benefit to the people here. Tourism is fine. Turning our country into a poundshop, not so much. As for increasing knowledge of the brand … Easy … Stop interfering in our… Read more »

Argol Fawr!
Argol Fawr!
7 months ago

Came across a group who travelled up from Southampton, spent a ‘social media’ night squatting in a quarry hut then were directly driving home the next morning.

If the MP’s mean finding a better arrangement than freeloading campers and the there-home day trippers who contribute bugger all to local economies then spit it out. Though I bet the reality will be, just greater numbers of the ‘more for less’ crowds onto our mountains and beaches.

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