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‘Tourism must be done by and not to people of Wales’ warns Senedd Member

09 Sep 2021 3 minute read


Dinbych y Pysgod. Picture by PxFuel

A Senedd Member has warned that “tourism must be done by and not to the people of Wales” after a body that represents all sectors of tourism industry in Wales appointed a new Chair.

Former Conservative shadow minister Suzy Davies was announced as the chair of the Wales Tourism Alliance.

Suzy Davies, who previously served as Shadow Minister for Tourism, Culture and the Welsh Language, said that: “Wales is ripe for further economic, environmentally savvy development and its visitor economy and tourism is core to that development”.

But Plaid Cymru MS Luke Fletcher expressed concern that the tourism was not “extractive”.

“The importance of the tourism industry on Wales is undisputed, but for too long Wales has been exploited by outside interests – the type of extractive tourism that uses Wales as a resource,” he said.

“While the new chair’s focus on the environment and sustainability is to be applauded, I would caution ‘Who is the development for?’ I’m sure many people share the ambition of seeing Wales as a top-quality, sustainable tourism destination, but this development must happen with communities it most impacts.

“Plaid Cymru has long called for tourist enterprises which provide maximum benefit to local communities, and I would like to see more focus on exploring ways of increasing local ownership and control of the industry.”


Suzy Davies takes over from Professor Andrew Campbell, who has spent more than three years as the chair of the Wales Tourism Alliance.

She said that she had a “lifelong desire for the world to see how wonderful this country is, I am excited to be joining such committed, experienced people who want to be part of a proud and successful Wales”.

“The industry has risen to the challenge of Covid magnificently, but the surge in domestic visitor numbers this year cannot blind us to the fragility of the sector’s infrastructure,” she added.

“Busy today is not the same as sustainable long term. We want the visitor economy to make a stable, balanced, desirable and valuable contribution to the nation’s collective wellbeing. Tourism, hospitality, skills providers and local authorities – and Welsh Government – all recognise the challenges and the opportunities.

“WTA is the collective voice of the industry in Wales. Failure to listen to it will mean failure to meet those challenges or to capitalise on those opportunities – and none of us wants that.”


Professor Andrew Campbell said the Covid-19 pandemic had been a “challenging time” for the industry and that he wanted to “pay tribute to all tourism businesses and agencies in Wales for displaying such resilience in the face of profound adversity”.

“My thanks also to all at the WTA for their support during the last three years, in particular the efforts of policy advocate, Adrian Greason-Walker for his valuable advice and counsel at all times.”

WTA board member, Barbara Griffiths, said: “Professor Campbell has gone above and beyond normal expectations over the last 18 months supporting the whole of the tourism industry in Wales, for which we are extremely grateful.

“We now look forward with great pleasure to working with Suzy Davies who has experience in the Senedd and whose family runs a tourism business.”

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2 years ago

Isn’t it about time that People woke up to the fact that Tourism is very limited seasonal source of employment? The corollary is seasonal unemployment

Ffred Clegg
Ffred Clegg
2 years ago

Well said Luke

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
2 years ago

To have a ex-Tory Senedd member promoting Wales is like embracing ones who introduced the WelshNot. It eaves me with a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. Yes, tourism must promote Wales , it’s people, culture and history to the world, but tourism within is also as important. After all, we too need to spend our money within our own country, especially out of season, who after all are the ones who when asked by tourists about our own history & culture, which for years now has been cynically suppressed by the very Unionist Tory mindset she, Suzy… Read more »

Last edited 2 years ago by Y Cymro
2 years ago

Cymru is over reliant on tourism as most people employed in the industry are stuck in poorly paid jobs. We should be looking to establishing high tech industries which pay much higher wages instead.

Grayham Jones
2 years ago

All business in wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 must be run by welsh people not outsiders it’s time for a new wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 A Free Wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

2 years ago

Tourism is supported, invested in, and encouraged used to hold progress back – to keep the people servile, indeed the way some (not all, but some) employees are treated these days is no different to their grandparents being “in service” in those days, and that’s how some want to keep it. Time for change….

2 years ago

It would be useful if an audit of Welsh tourism businesses were done to establish what percentage of these businesses are Welsh-owned, and how much of the profits stay in Wales. Despite being turned into a major sector of the rural Welsh economy since the fifties, tourism has surprisingly little economic benefit for the country, and even this is devalued by the adverse cutural, linguistic, and environmental impact. Tourism in its present form is like a bunch of strangers giving you 50p each to let them party in your house all while you try to get to sleep, and leaving… Read more »

Last edited 2 years ago by Wrexhamian

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