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Plans to tackle tourism pollution as Wales braces for summer staycationers

24 May 2022 3 minutes Read
A queue to the top of Snowdon. Picture by Gareth James (CC BY-SA 2.0).

Steps are being taken to limit the carbon footprint of tourism in Wales as the country braces for the summer hordes of staycationers.

The Welsh Government has announced £26 million of funding to make tourism more sustainable and the countryside more resilient.

It follows a boom in the number of people choosing to holiday in the nation, and other parts of the UK, instead of going abroad during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Plans include rolling out more charging points for electric vehicles, investing in biodiversity in Wales’ three national parks – which make up a quarter of the country’s land – and maintaining and improving walking trails.

Last summer, social media platforms and news outlets were awash with pictures of overcrowding in popular destinations such as Snowdon, Yr Wyddfa, where there were daily queues to reach the summit.

Climate change minister Julie James said that along with policies to protect the environment, the government was also supporting improvements to transport and facilities, particularly around visitor hotspots.

Ms James said: “As more people are discovering the magic of the Welsh countryside, we must make sure it can deal with the pressures.

“Our vision is of a countryside where communities can continue to work and flourish, where visitors can enjoy whilst leaving only footprints behind, and where plants and wildlife can make a real comeback.

“Nature is providing us with the tools to tackle the climate and nature emergencies whilst still having the power to make us all feel better within ourselves when we connect to it – it’s only right we do what we can to look after it.”

‘Cost jobs’

Julie James added: “Investment in access to the great outdoors is a flagship policy for the Welsh Government for the multiple benefits it provides.

“Beyond the economic opportunities of tourism, connecting with nature has been scientifically proven to improve both mental and physical health.

“Pioneering projects such as the Wales Coast Path enables walkers to trek its entire 1400km coastline whilst plans are well under way to create a national forest for Wales that stretches from the north to the south of the country.”

The Welsh Government continues to consult on the possibility of introducing a tourism tax, as is common in many countries in Europe.

However, a recent survey by the Welsh Association of Visitor Attractions found many members were concerned such a policy would drive tourists away, particularly during a cost-of-living crisis.

The Welsh Conservatives said it would “cost jobs and hurt businesses”.

Meanwhile, local authorities will be able to set council tax premiums on second homes and long-term empty properties to 300% from April 2023.

The criteria for self-catering accommodation being liable for business rates instead of council tax will also change at the same time, from 70 to 182 days.


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Cynan
Cynan
1 month ago

But. But but we have the anti-English tourism tax going ahead now! All the Tory press, the tiny little Tory outpost led by ARTD, all the Unionist rabble and the home grown kneelers and collaborators have been shrieking how all the English holidaymakers will abandon us in disgust!
THEY PROMISED!!
It’s almost like they were all lying.
Cymru welcomes all respectful tourists who dispose of their litter carefully, wherever they are from (our friendly English neighbours included) . The other groups mentioned above would perhaps prefer Somewhere in Kent.

Last edited 1 month ago by Cynan
Cynan
Cynan
1 month ago
Reply to  Cynan

And I welcome the installation of more charging points (but please make most of them fast chargers not trickle chargers).

hdavies15
hdavies15
1 month ago
Reply to  Cynan

The decision makers don’t know the difference between fast and trickle cos they get chauffered around the country in big fast cars or even helicopters !

Andrew Redman
Andrew Redman
1 month ago
Reply to  Cynan

How many visitors are responsible for the fly-tipping problem in Wales?

Rhosddu
Rhosddu
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew Redman

The subject of this article is tourism, not fly-tipping.

The original mark
The original mark
1 month ago

Is all this help to increase numbers of people into rural areas being done in consultation with those who live and work in these rural areas or inspite of those people. So we have to tolerate cars abandoned in field gateways, dogs chasing live stock, illegal camping, increased noise pollution, increased human pollution, the list is endless,

Argol fawr!
Argol fawr!
1 month ago

A Welsh Gov initiative to help a tourists’s carbon footprint but not those who live, work and shop around rural Wales. Good grief!

Argol fawr!
Argol fawr!
1 month ago
Reply to  Argol fawr!

…. This won’t sort out the polluting van campers who doss about in their clapped out vehicles and contribute little to countryside areas but their waste. The rest just drive over for the day, park to avoid paying, and drive away leaving only their verge side wheel ruts and litter.

Glyn Jones
Glyn Jones
1 month ago

£26 million – out of the general budget allocation presumable? Hopefully in future such initiatives will funded by a tourist tax.

I. Humphrys
I. Humphrys
1 month ago

Get rid of that nasty lttle choo choo puffing up Yr Wyddfa for a start.

Knowledge-Wisdom
1 month ago

I read your blog. Having very use full information help me a lot. I will read more articles on your blog.

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