Six months into my role as Chair, it is a great opportunity to extend my thanks to all our members for their continued support and to our four new members recruited over the last twelve months – and therefore to convey a brief end of term update. It has, as they say, been an interesting six months.
The Tourism Industry in Wales is undoubtedly entering a new world, politically, socially and technologically. Whilst we may feel powerless to influence seismic political events, there are issues closer to home where the WTA can and has been making its mark. At this juncture, it would be remiss of me not to record my appreciation of the sterling work carried out by our Policy Advocate, Adrian, whose level of knowledge and insight never fails to amaze me. Special thanks also to Eirlys, Ffion and Zoe for their unstinting admin support which is so critically important. So progress to date in brief:
We have advocated our case and met with Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas AM, Minister with Tourism portfolio, to register our stance as per our strategy (which we updated in August this year) on devolved tourism issues. We have also contacted UK Government Ministers, including the Chancellor of the Exchequer, again setting out our position here in Wales. Taking in the possibility of a change of UK Government, we have also sent correspondence to the Shadow Tourism Minister, with a request to meet in the near future.
We have responded to consultations on various issues, including more recently the Welsh Government’s proposals for a new Land Management Programme, proposals for the National Development Framework for Wales and the Inquiry into the implications of Brexit for Welsh ports. We have also been consulted on issues as wide ranging as Non-Domestic Business Rates; consumer protection in the package travel sector and of course the on-going issue of tourism tax!
We have also represented the WTA and your interests in face to face meetings with Welsh Government; VisitBritain, sector related seminars, tourism interest & association membership groups and presented evidence to committee on the industry’s behalf. Responses also given to the media. Whilst this is brief resume, we will continue to keep you informed on a daily basis via our tweets and of course here on our website (www.wta.org.uk/news) and for members at our membership meetings.
Please don’t forget Wales Tourism Week (w/c 12th May 2019), so please put that date in your diaries. More details to follow....and finally many thanks to the Caravan and Motorhome Club for hosting us at the Christmas Luncheon, it was great to see so many friends of the WTA in London yesterday.
May I wish you all, Nadolig Llawen a Blwyddyn Newydd Dda!
Andrew Campbell – Chair
Wales Tourism Alliance