More than 20 events have been arranged to celebrate Wales Tourism Week 2018 which begins on Saturday (May 12).
The events include the launch of ‘Celtic Escapes’ at Celtic Holiday Parks on the May 15, Dan-yr-Ogof Charity Train launch and the official opening of the WILD Centre at the Welsh Mountain Zoo, Colwyn Bay, both on May 17.
First Minister Carwyn Jones will attend the event at Dan-yr-Ogof while Culture, Tourism and Sport Minister Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas will attend each of the other events as well as a Wales Tourism Week evening reception at the Senedd, Cardiff on May 15.
The reception will be hosted by Suzy Davies, AM, chair of the National Assembly for Wales’ Tourism Cross Party Group and sponsored by the Caravan & Motorhome Club.
Themed ‘Co-operating to Compete’, Wales Tourism Week is co-ordinated by the Wales Tourism Alliance (WTA) and designed to be a ‘celebration of the country’s tourism industry’.
The week aims to raise the industry’s profile and highlight its huge revenue generating value and job and career opportunities.
The WTA, along with its partners, has called on tourism organisations and businesses across the country to organise events during the week that promote the value of partnership and raise awareness of the industry’s importance to the Welsh economy.
WTA and tourism association members play pivotal roles in local, regional and national partnerships, often as unsung heroes operating away from the limelight, but providing trust, integrity and insight across all business and government sectors.
Adrian Barsby, WTA chair, said:
“In this difficult political era we need to see increased co-operation between the public and private sectors if we are going to compete effectively and efficiently. Co-operation is essential if we are to ensure key tourism infrastructure investment is undertaken, including a reliable transport network and the continued roll out of superfast broadband, particularly to our most rural of areas in Wales. There has been a remarkable improvement in the quality of our visitor offer over the last 20 years and I would argue that it matches anything globally. We need to ensure this continues to keep up with consumers’ ever-changing needs and the latest visitor trends. We can only do this through partnership at all levels."
“We have seen remarkable growth in the hotel trade in our major cities in Wales, as well as the growing importance of the self-catering sector, particularly in our rural areas, be it with static caravans, cottages or lodges."
“Collectively their impact in supporting the economy and social fabric of Wales is huge and should not be underestimated by anyone. Self-employment is very important in rural Wales, as without it new jobs cannot follow. Wales Tourism Week is about recognising this.
“Wales Tourism Alliance represents about 6,000 individual private sector tourism businesses and this week we want to showcase their work and the contribution they make. A number of businesses will be opening new ventures which is a sign of confidence in the future.”
He referred to the uncertainty in the industry caused by Brexit and urged the Government to adopt a “sensible” immigration policy that allows the continued recruitment of workers to address skills shortages in tourism and agriculture, the futures of which were inextricably linked.
Lord Elis-Thomas, always a strong supporter of sustainable tourism in Wales, emphasised the important role that the industry plays as a cornerstone of the Welsh economy.
“The impression I’ve had since taking up this important role is of an industry full of commitment and enthusiasm and a determination to push ahead,” he said. “I believe that by working in partnership we can build on our success, particularly over recent years, of getting Wales increasingly recognised both across the UK and internationally.
“Tourism is a valuable export industry, we must not lose sight of the overseas visitor, whatever global events throw at us. Once again thanks to the WTA and the Caravan & Motorhome Club for Wales Tourism Week and I wish the industry a busy and prosperous summer season.”