First published Thursday, November 6, 2014
What is Pembrokeshire Tourism? It’s a question that will have a different answer depending on who you ask, as we find that for many of our members, what we do and offer is different for each of them.
However, let us go back to basics for a moment.
Pembrokeshire Tourism is a Trade Association. Ian Lucas MP said in November 2009 “Trade associations have a crucial role to play in promoting best practice, helping companies become more competitive and formulating effective public policy and delivery. They have tremendous potential to act as a co-ordinated voice of business when talking to Government, and great value in terms of quickly disseminating messages about Government policy to their members. Productive engagement between associations and Government is very important for the policy making process”.
As a trade association, we provide representation for our members, along with a range of products and services for our business members. This includes conferences, training, networking, guidance and advice as well as access to discounts on products and services offered by other members.
Furthermore we work hard to represent the views of our members to the local authority, regional engagement with Visit Wales, and with Assembly Members and Members of Parliament, as well as like-minded bodies who have a broader remit in terms of tourism in Wales. We are a not for profit company, limited by guarantee, and have a board of elected directors (all voluntary) who are drawn from our membership.
There are many reasons why businesses and individuals join trade associations. Here are nine reasons:
- In the long term, it is in the financial interests of a business to join; Trade Associations sit at the heart of the industry or sector and offer many benefits to members – money saving activities such as free advice on issues, access to special rates and discounts;
- Trade associations are seen as the voice of their sector and able to represent all their members at every level;
- Trade associations are trusted and central to their industry – they can uniquely offer a wide range of information and services that nobody else can easily provide using a range of communication methods. This can also include collation of sensitive information to provide an industry wide statistical report service;
- Trade associations are often well placed to provide specialist advice which may otherwise be difficult or expensive to obtain;
- Trade associations can undertake specific projects that provide benefits to members or the industry as a whole, and members can become involved first hand and influence the outcome of these projects should they chose to do so;
- Trade associations create the opportunity for members to network with their peers at Conferences, Exhibitions and other events whilst they are learning about issues may affect their business;
- Trade associations provide immediate updates about changes to standards, policy, and other news which can have an impact on the members businesses, and as such provide an early warning system with advice on how to deal with any issues that may arise as a result;
- Trade associations often offer commercial benefits as a result of deals negotiated with approved suppliers with their members then may wish to utilise e.g. energy provision, vehicle fuel etc;
- A company’s reputation is often enhanced following their joining a trade association. For many industries, membership of the industry association is seen as a badge of quality.