More than 100 tourism leaders from the private, public and third sector will convene at the Metropole Hotel, Llandrindod Wells on Thursday March 28 for the Wales Tourism Summit 2019.
During the summit, Deputy Minister for Culture Sport and Tourism, Lord Elis-Thomas will launch a conversation about what tourism in Wales will look like in the future. As the current tourism strategy, Partnership for Growth, draws to a close, the summit is an opportunity to reflect on achievements and look at challenges and opportunities which face the industry in the future.
Lord Elis-Thomas, said:
“A great deal has been achieved through working in partnership with the industry through the last strategy, but today, I’ll start a conversation to ask, what can we do better and what will the visitor economy look like in 10 years’ time?
“Over the next few months, we want to work with the industry in order to shape the priorities for the future, we want to hear from the tourism sector, and the many other people who have an interest in the wider visitor economy, to think about the big questions ahead and the challenges we face.”
Delegates at the tourism summit were introduced to 10 questions which will start the conversation, which will continue over the next few months.
The Deputy Minister announced to summit delegates the creation of a £50 million Wales Tourism Investment Fund in partnership with the Development Bank of Wales. This is one of 3 new funds totalling £121 million announced by Economy Minister, Ken Skates, earlier this week.
Brexit, in whatever form it takes, will mean a fundamental shift in the way many Welsh companies do business and the Welsh Government is exploring all options and mobilising every possible resource to ensure businesses of all sizes, and from across Wales, have access to the finance they need to help them adjust and thrive.
Speaking ahead of the Summit, the Deputy Minister said:
“Our ability to market Wales to new and ever-changing markets globally is wholly reliant on having a great story to tell – and part of that includes investing in experiences and places that defines Wales’ and appeal to future visitors.
“It remains vital that we continue to work with private sector investors to ensure we are continually improving the product offer in Wales. The Wales Tourism Investment Fund will allow us to continue to support the high number of very exciting proposed developments in every part of Wales.”
Giles Thorley, Chief Executive of the Development Bank of Wales said;
“Supporting the tourism sector is a priority as outlined in Welsh Government’s Economic Action Plan. The Wales Tourism Investment Fund aims to support continued growth in the sector as an economic driver in communities across the whole of Wales. We are pleased to have worked in partnership with Welsh Government to develop a targeted, patient capital offer with a product suited to the needs of tourism businesses.”
In conclusion, the Deputy Minister, said;
“It is true that we are in uncharted waters and the climate is a challenging one but Wales is equal to the challenge and we can plan for the future together. Today is the first step, to listen to what people have to say before we develop an action plan around our tourism priorities. We’d like views on how we shape the vitally important visitor economy of Wales. Together we can shape new ways of developing tourism for the years ahead.”