First published Friday, June 28, 2013
Yesterday (Thursday June 27th 2013) saw the quarterly meeting of the Wales Tourism Alliance take place at the Elephant and Castle Hotel in Newtown. Myself, and the Chairman of Pembrokeshire Tourism, Tim Brace, attended on behalf of Pembrokeshire Tourism, and as such on behalf of our members.
For those of you not familiar with the Wales Tourism Alliance, a brief explanation:
“The Wales Tourism Alliance (WTA) was formed when the National Assembly for Wales was established and the responsibility for tourism was devolved from Westminster to Cardiff. It has evolved over the years and is now widely recognised as the voice of the industry in Wales. Our role is to inform and forward the views and needs of the tourism community to the Welsh Government, the Business Minister (whose portfolio includes tourism) and to Westminster (on non devolved issues). We do this by meeting face to face with both Assembly Members and Welsh MPs on a regular basis, so that they receive industry input direct.”
The current Chairman of the Wales Tourism Alliance is Chris Osborne (pictured below). Known to many locally as the owner of the Fourcroft Hotel in Tenby, he is also a Director on the board of Pembrokeshire Tourism. He, like all those around the table yesterday, is passionate about tourism and the importance of it to both the economy of Pembrokeshire and Wales. The meeting yesterday enabled industry representatives from across Wales, and from the various sectors (e.g. self catering, touring caravan, static caravan) to come together and discuss the various issues facing the us at present, whilst also gaining an insight into how the industry is performing as a whole in the country. It would seem that here in Pembrokeshire, we are slightly ahead of the game compared to other parts of Wales, great news for us of course!
The particularly important aspect of all this however is what Pembrokeshire Tourism members get from this. As an organisation, Pembrokeshire Tourism is a member of the Wales Tourism Alliance. The Wales Tourism Alliance has a direct open door into the team at the top of Visit Wales, as well as the Cross Party Group in the Welsh Government. This means that where there are issues cropping up time and time again at the front line of the industry, we at Pembrokeshire Tourism are able to pick those up, feed the information directly through to the Wales Tourism Alliance, who in turn take it to the tables of those with responsibility for influencing and indeed making decisions.
In an industry that is so important to the economic map of Wales, and indeed Pembrokeshire, the ability to have this kind of communication with those in power, and likewise for them to consult with the industry, is crucially important. The industry is changing rapidly, and with news of further cuts to public spending anticipated, as members of Pembrokeshire Tourism, and in turn therefore members of the Wales Tourism Alliance, it is vital that you tell us what matters, so we can work with the Wales Tourism Alliance to fight for proper investment in the sector. Together, by joining up those in the trade with those at Pembrokeshire Tourism, and those in the Wales Tourism Alliance, we can have a real say over what happens in tourism at the Welsh Government level, which will in turn influence what happens here in Pembrokeshire!
Chris Osborne, Chair of the Wales Tourism Alliance, Director of Pembrokeshire Tourism and owner of the Fourcroft Hotel, Tenby