What’s it all about?

First published Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Today (15th October 2013) has seen the Pembrokeshire Tourism team going ‘Out & About’ around the county once again, this time stopping in Newport. It’s been a valuable day for us, and for a number of our members.

From the outset this morning, driving up to Newport across the hills, we were reminded once again just how special Pembrokeshire is. The morning mists lifted, the sun shone, and we were treated to stunning views all around. Truly priceless, and a timely reminder of how lucky we are.

Based initially in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority run Visitor Information Centre in Newport, we were able to catch up with a number of our members. Topics of conversation covered a range of subjects from how the summer season has been this year, to what is coming up over the next few months, changes in customer demands and expectations and more.

Rachael and Gemma have been able to head out and meet members in their businesses as well as those who came in to see us. We were also able to welcome Carys Bowen from Visit Wales who was on hand to answer questions about grading, quality assurance and other related issues.

Later in the day we relocated across to The Golden Lion, where once again we were given a warm welcome. Better still we were joined by two more members, one from the Self Catering sector, and one from the B&B sector and over the course of an hour and a half, and again we covered a range of topics in our discussions.

There’s been a couple of things that have really stood out for me and the team today.

Firstly, here in Pembrokeshire, we are incredibly lucky to have such a beautiful place to live and work. Whatever the weather throws at us, there is something here for everyone. The diversity of businesses, and people, that are here in the county just adds to the offering for visitors and locals alike.

Secondly, when people in business in the county have the opportunity to meet with others in the same trade, and simply talk, it’s possible to learn so much more. It’s also an opportunity for those in business to take a step back for a short while, and look at what they do, how they do it, swap ideas, air the challenges they face, find solutions.

This evening in particular, really brought home to me how important trade support is. Our members, and indeed everyone who runs their own business, puts their life, their soul, their passion, into what they do. Every single task they undertake, from washing sheets, preparing meals, greeting visitors, is done because they believe in what they do.

Trade support is what helps keep people doing what they do. Whether it’s as simple as the sense of ‘belonging’ to something, or whether it’s taking a more active part in what’s offered, from training courses, to networking events and trade days, Pembrokeshire Tourism is determined to offer what the trade needs. Tourism in Pembrokeshire is incredibly valuable to the economy, as are the people who deliver it, create it, provide it.

So what’s it all about? Tourism is about people. Bricks and mortar, rocks and caves, sea and sand are all undoubtedly a part of it. Without people, there is little to offer in tourism. We are working for the people in the trade, supporting our members, helping them do what they do. Each and every one of our members is valued, appreciated and believed in. To all of you, and those who came to join us today, thank you for sharing your passion with us.

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