Tourism is one of the biggest and most important industries in Wales. Wales has long been famous for its warm welcome to visitors, and the statistics show just how important tourism is to the whole of the country.
- Tourists spend around £14 million a day in Wales, which amounts to around £5.1 billion a year.
- Further analysis shows that the annual Gross Value Added (GVA) of the Welsh tourism sector is £2,844 million, and that the tourism industry supports about 122,900 jobs.
- 10,000 businesses in the country are linked to the industry.
- In 2009, the total contribution of the tourism industry accounted for £6.2 billion of the Welsh GDP, which is equivalent to 13.3%; this is greater than 8.6% in England and 10.4% in Scotland.
- There is considerable potential for growth. Deloitte have forecasted that the visitor economy could support 188,000 jobs in Wales by 2020, accounting for 13.7% of total employment.
- In 2014, the top 3 generating countries for overseas tourism to Wales were Ireland, France, and Germany, all EU partners.
- From 2010 to 2012, 58% of the visitors to Gwynedd who stayed for at least one night were from 14 European nations, and it was 45% in Cardiff.
What are the benefits of EU membership?
- The EU enables us to travel freely throughout the EU.
- The EU has changed the way we travel. EU laws have paved the way for more and cheaper flights to a growing number of destinations
- It was recently announced that there would be a new EU funding package for tourism in Wales with a potential total value of £85million - the single biggest EU investment made in the sector.
- Wales works with EU partners on tourism strategies to support our industry.
- EU laws on the environment have given us cleaner beaches and better air quality.
- It was thanks to EU funding that our renowned Wales Coast Path came to be, the first uninterrupted route along a national coast in the world.
What would happen if we left the EU?
- A vote to leave the EU could isolate us from our European partners who already provide so many visitors and business to Wales.
- If the UK were to leave the EU, it would bring free movement into doubt.
- Losing the EU funding that has been so crucial to the industry in Wales would have a major impact.
What could we do better in the EU?
- Plaid Cymru wants to see investment in the industry expanded, not put at risk. For example, we want to see a leg of the Tour de France in Wales.
- Plaid Cymru is serious about putting Wales on the map. A Plaid Cymru government would double the budget for the promotion of tourism.
- We would push for a cut to VAT for tourist companies.
- We would designate 2018 as a year for promotion of Welsh food and drink.