Adam Price, Leader of Plaid Cymru says his party would create a National Academy for the Welsh tourism sector in its newly created ‘Arfor’ western coastal region, should it be elected to form the next government in May.

The National Academy, consisting of on-site hotel and conference centre, would provide ‘hands-on’ learning to students in catering and hospitality from apprenticeships to degree level courses.

Mr Price, who is also candidate for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr, says the purpose of ‘Arfor’ – a region that will stretch from Anglesey all the way down the western coast to Pembrokeshire – is to encourage residents, especially young people, to see the region as an entity which provides a wide range of progressive career opportunities.

Developing skills and ideas for the tourism sector in the National Academy in Arfor will allow increased control of the tourism sector by the local community. Mr Price said this will contribute to the “shift away from extractive tourism” and towards a sector that is “beneficial for both visitors and residents.”

Adam Price, Leader of Plaid Cymru and Candidate for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr, said,

“Welsh culture is alive and thriving, yet in comparison our tourism industry has been left to wither.

“Our National Academy for tourism will provide hands on experience for students and – crucially – will ensure that young people see that their region can provide a wide range of progressive career opportunities.

“By nurturing the abundance of talent in our western coastal region, this will enable local job creation and strengthen local ownership of the tourism sector.

“For too long, Wales has been exploited by outside interest – the type of extractive tourism that uses Wales as a resource. A Plaid Cymru government will encourage tourist enterprises which provide maximum benefit to local communities.

“Our culture is rich, diverse and evolving, and our tourism industry should reflect that.”