Governments and the tourism industry must share one voice if Wales is to fulfil its potential as an international tourism destination of choice, Wales Office Minister Baroness Jenny Randerson will say today at the Wales Tourism Alliance Conference (22 Nov).
Speaking at the event at Venue Cymru in Llandudno, Baroness Randerson will highlight the excellent work of past and present members of the Wales Tourism Alliance’s executive in promoting Wales to the world.
During her speech, Baroness Randerson is expected to call on the Welsh and UK Governments to work more closely together to develop the competitiveness of Wales’s tourism industry. She will also highlight the improvements that need to be made to ensure Wales captures a larger share of international tourism spend in the UK.
The tourism sector is worth £6billion to the Welsh economy, supporting up to 23,000 businesses, and employing more than 8% of the workforce. However, between 2002 and 2012, the Wales share of international visitors fell from 4% to 3%, and share of international visitor spend fell from 2.15% to 1.83%*.
With a view to reversing the trend, she will urge Visit Wales and VisitBritain to continue in their joint efforts to promote Wales in international markets.
Baroness Randerson said:
Last year, VisitBritain launched its biggest, most ambitious tourism marketing programme for 10 years: “GREAT Britain You’re invited”. The campaign is designed to show the world that Britain is open for business; that it’s a great place to visit, to live, and to invest.
Wales has a wealth of wonderful attractions, activities and events for visitors, and a host of world-class facilities right on our doorsteps. We have so much to gain if Government and the tourism industry work together, with one voice, to grasp the opportunities the sector has before it.
During her visit to north Wales, Baroness Randerson will attend the National Tourism Awards Wales 2013 at Venue Cymru. She will also experience two of the most popular tourist attractions in the region, when she takes a trip across UNESCO World Heritage site, Pontcysyllte Aqueduct in Wrexham, and samples locally sourced produce at Bodnant Welsh Food Centre in Conwy.
Baroness Randerson added:
The tourism sector makes a vital contribution to the social and economic wellbeing of Wales, and it is crucial that we do all we can to attract visitors from home and overseas to experience our rich culture and deep history.
Next year, the eyes of the world will fall on Wales once again, as the Celtic Manor Resort prepares to host world leaders at the 2014 NATO Summit and Swansea pays tribute to its most famous son through a range of commemorations of the Dylan Thomas centenary. These events will provide huge opportunities to promote Wales to the world. We must ensure all those who visit leave with a clear message about everything Wales, its people and its impressive landscape have to offer to the global community.
Notes to Editors