Plaid Cymru recognises the importance of the tourism industry across Wales as an employer and in attracting investment into the country. We would encourage tourist enterprises which provide maximum benefit to local communities rather than extractive tourism that sees Wales as a resource to be exploited by outside interests, bearing this in mind we would explore ways of increasing local ownership and control of the industry.
We want to promote Wales as a top quality, sustainable tourism destination with activities and experiences based on our natural resources, our produce, our unique coast and landscape, and our language, culture, and heritage.
Heritage tourism is the most popular and traditional form of tourism in Wales where tourists are exposed to history through museums and heritage sites. We support a shift towards cultural tourism which can significantly contribute to the status of Welsh as a living language. Cultural tourism also promotes our diverse Welsh culture to the world. This shift has been popular and successful in Ireland where tourism has centred on music and literary festivals and food.
A key example of such a community enterprise leading the way in cultural tourism is Llety Arall in Caernarfon. We will provide grants for similar ventures across Wales.
We would review the role of Visit Wales so that it is better placed to attract tourists to Wales, we would continue to bring more people to Wales and improve the tourist experience by focusing on joined-up services so that tourists can expect to stay close to events, access the latest tourism information and rely on public transport.
We would establish an Industry Task Force to develop a strategy for the future of the tourism sector. This would consider the benefits of:
- Introducing targeted reductions in business rates to help the tourism sector through the recovery and lobby the UK Government to reduce VAT for tourism businesses.
- Supporting the creation of locally and publicly owned alternatives to private sector platforms such as Uber and Airbnb.
- Creating a Welsh version of the state owned Parador system in Spain where heritage buildings (for example, converted chapels) can be restored as hotel accommodation.
We would support the Llechi Cymru Wales Slate World Heritage Status bid and will pursue its implementation regardless of the outcome to be announced this July.
We would work with heritage steam to safeguard the sector’s future and to develop alternative fuels in the longer term.