Meeting at Penrhos Park, Llanrhystud during Wales Tourism Week were (from left) Val Hawkins, MWT Cymru chief executive, Dafydd Rees-Evans from Penrhos Park, Simon Pickard from The Silver Mountain Experience, Rowland Rees-Evans, MWT Cymru chairman and Penrhos Park director, Cllr Bryan Davies, Ceredigion County Council leader, Gareth Jones from Brynarth Country House, Ben Lake, MP for Ceredigion, Zoe Hawkins, MWT Cymru operations manager and Vicky Chism from Devil’s Bridge Falls, Woodlands Holiday Park and Pentir Pumlumon.
Collaboration by politicians, businesses and local authorities is the best way to promote tourism across Mid Wales, a Wales Tourism Week meeting heard on Friday.
MWT Cymru (Mid Wales Tourism) organised the meeting at Penrhos Park, Llanrhystud, near Aberystwyth to celebrate the annual tourism week which showcases the quality of the country’s tourism offer to both UK and international tourists.
Ceredigion MP Ben Lake and Ceredigion County Council leader Councillor Bryan Davies met a small group of MWT Cymru leaders and member businesses from the tourism and hospitality sectors.
The meeting was hosted by Rowland Rees-Evans, a director of Penrhos Park and chairman of MWT Cymru, who said: “As a company, we are always seeking to engage with politicians and we are grateful to Ben Lake and Cllr Bryan Davies for taking the time to listen to our concerns.
“If anybody can help us with current and future challenges it’s the politicians who are the decision-makers. This was an opportunity, during Welsh Tourism Week, to promote our industry which is a major part of the Ceredigion and Mid Wales economies.”
Issues discussed included Welsh Government taxation of self-catering accommodation, a proposed tourism levy, the impact of the Covid pandemic and cost of living crisis, the role of local authorities in promoting tourism, hospitality recruitment and development of the region’s road and rail infrastructure.
Mr Lake pledged to follow up a suggested meeting of constituency MPs and Members of the Senedd for Ceredigion, Powys and Southern Snowdonia to discuss tourism and other regional issues.
“I am really grateful for the opportunity to meet with local tourism businesses to discuss the main challenges facing the sector,” he said. “It is clear that there needs to be closer co-operation between all tiers of government and business, not only to overcome some of the challenges, but also to realise the exciting opportunities that exist.
“We discussed how we could work more collaboratively with colleagues in other parts of Mid Wales at a political level and I am looking forward to pursuing that so that we can promote the region’s wonderful tourism offer more effectively.”
Cllr Davies welcomed the opportunity to meet and exchange ideas with local tourism businesses, MWT Cymru leaders and Mr Lake.
“There is concern about the lack of information coming from the Welsh Government on certain issues relating to tourism, which is big part of the Ceredigion economy,” he said. “People are willing to collaborate, as has been shown with the Mid Wales Growth Deal.”
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