Welsh Government
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Welsh Assembly Government continues its long term commitment to supporting tourism

With half term under way, and spring fast approaching, the tourism industry is gearing up for the Easter period and the summer beyond. Tourism employs over 100,000 people in Wales and contributes in excess of £3billion to the Welsh economy and the Welsh Assembly Government recognises the real importance of the sector to Wales.

As part of its continued support of the sector, The Welsh Assembly Government has announced a number of long-term, multi-million pound investment programmes over recent months to provide tourism in Wales with financial and practical support, demonstrating its commitment to supporting and marketing of Wales as a holiday destination.

A five-year heritage tourism project is now well into its first year. The £19 million project, managed by Cadw, and largely funded by the Welsh Assembly Government and EU Convergence Funds, maximises the economic value of heritage through increasing the volume, length and value of visits to Wales. The project seeks to ensure that Wales’ outstanding heritage is more accessible and enjoyable to visit – both for visitors and people who live in Wales. 

Another five year project launched last summer is looking to develop sustainable tourism and coastal tourism. The project is managed by Visit Wales who are working with a number of partners including local authorities and the Welsh Local Government Association.

There are two arms to this initiative. The first encourages sustainable tourism by indentifying Centres of Excellence: venues that fully utilise the natural and built environment.

The Coastal Tourism project includes a Green Sea programme to maintain and improve our coastal heritage. It funds the maintenance of services such as public toilets and information facilities. These practical measures all help to enhance the experience and reputation of a visit to our coastline.

More recently, the Welsh Assembly Government has joined forces with the public sector and the European Regional Development Fund to fund a four year £17.4m digital tourism project. This will provide integrated on-line opportunities for the industry. Of particularly benefit to smaller businesses such as B&Bs and community websites, it will provide support in five areas:

  1. Digital Tourism Business Environment - creating an online environment for sharing research, expert opinion, and business opportunities.
  2. Digital Tourism Communities - bringing groups of businesses together on-line for shared business opportunities.
  3. Piloting Innovative Approaches to Using Digital Technologies for Tourism Business - supporting businesses to develop new ideas that could benefit the industry.
  4. Developing and Exploiting the Knowledge Base - providing high quality web content about Wales that businesses can use to support their online activities.
  5. Technology - developing the technology to support the above, such as the online forum to share knowledge and a database for developing and distributing the web content.

Alun Ffred Jones, the Heritage Minister said:

“The tourist industry in Wales must be ready to maximise visitor numbers. And with nine out of ten visitors already rating their trip as very good or excellent, we know we provide a great visitor experience. However, we must not risk becoming complacent and that is why the Welsh Assembly Government is committed to providing a fully integrated support structure to the industry. These initiatives are just a few examples of the ways in which we are meeting our One Wales commitments.”

“Wales offers a variety of destinations - from great places for a day out, a cosmopolitan city break or a traditional seaside holiday. I am looking forward to working through Visit Wales to capitalise on these opportunities and support our industry.”

Related Links

Visit Wales is the Welsh Assembly Government's tourism team, within the Department for Heritage.