Responding to a report on Welsh tourism, Plaid calls for governments to ‘get the basics right’
Plaid Cymru has responded to the report by the Welsh Affairs Committee in Westminster that states that Wales is getting less than its share of tourists due to a lack of investment by the Welsh and UK Governments.
The report, ‘Wales as a global tourist destination’, outlined that in 2019, only one million international tourists visited Wales of the 41 million who visited the UK, and that just 2% of the total amount spent by international tourists to the UK was spent in Wales.
The report also outlined that there was a lack of profile for Wales internationally, and that 57% of overseas visitors had not seen any advertising about Wales beforehand. It also outlined various other barriers, including a lack of understanding and expertise by VisitBritain of how to promote Wales in its marketing materials, a ‘lack of a Welsh Brand’ on a par with other nations of the UK, and a lack of integrated public transport.
Responding to the report, Luke Fletcher MS, Plaid Cymru’s Economy spokesperson, said:
“In Wales, we all know what the ‘Welsh Brand’ is. It’s a unique array of small businesses, it’s stunning scenery, and it’s a warm welcome. It’s a rich history and it’s a distinct culture and it’s our own language. We have world class attractions and every reason for Wales to be an ideal location for visitors from all over the world.
“However, the Welsh and UK Governments have not created a presence for Wales on the world stage. It says something when two Hollywood actors have done much more to introduce the world to Wales in the last two years than the Welsh and Westminster Governments over many, many years.
“We have the opportunity in Wales to build a sustainable tourism sector, avoiding extractive forms of tourism. There’s also an opportunity to improve community ownership of local tourism, to build their own attractions and accommodation that benefits the local community.
“The Welsh Government and UK Government are letting Wales down by not getting the basics right. A lack of investment in our transport and infrastructure has left our country with transport links that take you out of the country to get to locations a stone’s throw away. Bus services are insufficient, and there’s been a lack of investment in roads. An easy to use public transport system is a vital part of appealing to tourists.
“There is a lot of work to do to attract international visitors to Wales, including addressing the UK Government’s long standing lack of investment in Wales in terms of infrastructure. If we had our fair share of rail funding, we would have £6billion to put towards connecting Wales from north to south, linking communities and giving potential visitors the ease that they crave when planning trips around Wales.”
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