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‘Decline in tourism numbers must be tackled’ – Eluned Parrott

2013 Mehefin 17 1:14 PM

In response to the publication of the Tourism Strategy, Eluned Parrott AM has called for lessons to be learnt from previous failings to ensure that the downturn in tourism numbers is reversed.

Eluned Parrott, Welsh Liberal Democrat Minister for Business and Enterprise, said:

"Wales has seen a significant decline in tourism numbers over the last few years. Therefore it is essential that this new strategy identifies mistakes that have been made in the past. Given the importance of tourism to the Welsh economy and to Welsh jobs, it is vital that our tourism sector is allowed to thrive again.

"Just last week the First Minister spoke of how the weather was responsible for the severe drop in Wales' tourism numbers. Blaming the weather simply isn't good enough and there can be no room for such complacency. Visitor numbers in Wales have fallen by almost a quarter, whereas across the UK they are down by just 3%. There are problems that extend much further than just the weather.

"The Welsh Labour Government has trumpeted the money it's handed out to increase tourism, but that money clearly wasn't targeted well enough. Just throwing money at an issue isn't enough. Wales has so much to offer and there is a great message to sell, we just need to ensure that it is done properly.

"There is now a target in place for tourism earnings to grow by 2020. I will be asking for regular updates from the Welsh Labour Government to ensure that progress is being made to meet this target."