The Welsh Association of Visitor Attractions (WAVA) is the lead body for the attraction industry in Wales with over 80 members throughout Wales.
A recent survey has indicated that the ‘heady days’ of last year’s staycation are over with 46.9% of WAVA members seeing less visitors over the 2022 Easter period onwards when compared to 2019. (Due to the pandemic 2019 was the last year when all attractions were open at Easter.)
The cost-of-living crisis might be one of the factors for these figures but another suggestion is that people who regularly take foreign trips abroad are reverting back to overseas holidays again. Thus, it would appear that the staycation boom of last year is well and truly over.
Two questions in the survey also reflected WAVA members concerns that the Welsh Government was pursuing anti tourism policies i.e. the proposed tourism tax and the self-catering new letting days issue. The survey asked members if they would be re-investing in their attraction or be adding a new attraction for 2023 in the light of recent Welsh Governments tourism policies. 40% responded that they had no plans for re-investing or adding to their attraction for 2023.
Probably the most interesting answer was to the question that if these Welsh government anti-tourism policies were to increase 18.8% of Welsh attractions would seriously consider projects outside of Wales.
43.8% of those responding to the survey also indicated that further investment in their attraction would also be put “on hold” under these circumstances. A WAVA spokesperson said –
“All attractions are facing increased running costs especially for items like electricity, staffing costs and rising food prices. Many members are finding it difficult to pass on these extra costs knowing that families are struggling themselves with cost-of-living issues, therefore days out with the family must continue to be affordable. The overall picture indicated by some attractions is that the weekly footfall is down, and though the weekends are holding up these numbers are not covering the fewer visitors seen in the week.”
For further information the following attractions are available for comment. Vince. Snowdon Mountain Railway. 07817 841066. Chair North Wales WAVA. Simon. Silver Mountain Experience. 07990 573972. Chair Mid Wales WAVA. Roy. Gower Heritage. 07974 243748. Chair South Wales WAVA.