Establishing a statutory registration or licensing scheme for holiday accommodation operators in Wales
You may be aware that independent research agency, Strategic Research & Insight (SRI), have been commissioned by Welsh Government to explore establishing a statutory registration or licensing scheme for holiday accommodation operators in Wales.
MWT will be speaking to SRI to share the views of our membership.
MWT members, please help us to collate your responses by completing our short survey. Your views are really important.
>> Complete survey here by Friday 22nd October 2021.
SRI will be speaking to stakeholders as well as researching best practice in other countries, to consider:
Visit Wales said, "There are significant potential benefits of the scheme, including a level playing field for professional and amateur accommodation operators, and a much better oversight of the sector to inform decision-making in tourism, housing, environmental health and taxation. We also recognise there are wider views and considerations that need to be explored.
As it will not be possible for SRI to speak to all tourism businesses as part of this work, please feed any comments you have through your representative body; these will help form the decision on whether a scheme is implemented, and if so, how."
National Resources Wales (NRW) are seeking your views about biodiversity on your land along the Wales Coast Path. They would like to learn from your experience.
NRW are asking landowners and farmers in Wales, with land along, adjoining, or near to the Wales Coast Path, to complete this short multiple-choice 20 question survey. It should take about 15 minutes of your time. If you are able to participate, please can you do so by Friday 15th October 2021.
Click here to start the survey: https://forms.office.com/r/epuuEvwXc7
Natural Resources Wales (NRW) and the Welsh Government, in collaboration with Gwynedd Council, have recently launched the ‘Ein Llwybrau Byw’ / Our Living Trails project which has the long-term aim to promote and restore biodiversity along the Wales Coast Path corridor. Binnies has been contracted by NRW to deliver this 9-month long project which also aims to promote greater connection between people and nature, so that more people understand the importance of a healthy and productive natural environment, and the benefits it brings to us.
Land along the 870-mile Wales Coast Path corridor includes farmland, open countryside, cliffs, meadows, beaches and urban environments. The land provides an important opportunity to address the challenges of biodiversity loss, climate change and coastal ‘squeeze’ whilst supporting resilient profitable farming businesses and a healthy resilient society. The project will be working in partnership with landowners, as they will be an integral part of the project. It will investigate ‘best practice’ and recommend an approach to ‘scale up’ the roll out of biodiversity improvement projects along the Wales Coast Path corridor, and potentially other national trails and rights of way in Wales in coming years.
The views NRW receive as part of this survey will be collated to inform the project recommendations. They will also be collated and summarised to inform a Stakeholder Workshop in November 2021. All responses are anonymous. You are invited to provide your email address if you want to receive a copy of the project’s next newsletter which will contain a summary of the survey findings.
You can learn more about the project by watching this video: Watch video
Now the Covid-19 Tourism Taskforce, set up by Welsh Government and representing the hospitality and tourism industry in Wales, has written to First Minister Mark Drakeford asking him to forward the reopening dates in line with England and Scotland, or even sooner. This would see indoor hospitality and indoor attractions reopen on May 17.
MWT Cymru, which represents more than 600 tourism and hospitality businesses across Powys, Ceredigion and the Meirionnydd region of Gwynedd, has backed the letter and commended the work of the taskforce throughout the pandemic.
Rowland Rees-Evans, MWT Cymru’s chairman, is calling for the taskforce to continue its work during the Covid-19 recovery period and beyond and for the next Welsh Government to create a Cabinet Minister for Tourism.
“We welcome the taskforce’s letter to the First Minister because it comes from the whole hospitality and tourism industry,” he said. “The Welsh Government has said all along that the reopening dates are guided by the Covid-19 infection rate data because it doesn’t want the NHS to be overwhelmed.
“We are now at the stage where the data has overtaken the dates, so why can’t we reopen faster. If we don’t reopen the industry in line with England, Wales is going to lose out again and people are going to book holidays and short breaks in other parts of the UK.
“We feel that the Welsh Parliament-Senedd Cymru election should have been delayed because purdah is standing in the way of important decisions during an absolutely crucial time for the industry.
“We would like to thank the Covid-19 Tourism Taskforce for its excellent work during the pandemic and we think it’s essential that it carries on representing the hospitality and tourism industry during the recovery and beyond. We also believe there is a definite need for a Cabinet Minister for Tourism in the next Welsh Government.”
Taskforce member, Wales Tourism Alliance chairman Andrew Campbell said: “We are calling for flexibility in bringing forward the reopening of indoor hospitality and attractions, following the excellent work done by the Welsh Government in controlling the Covid-19 infection rate in Wales.
“We must get the sector open because businesses need to start trading as their cash reserves are low. It’s essential that the sector continues to have the ability to feed in concerns and issues to the Welsh Government as and when they arise.”
Representing Mid Wales on the taskforce is Steve Hughson, Mid Wales Regional Tourism Forum chair and chief executive of the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society at Llanelwedd.
Other taskforce members based in Mid Wales include Adrian Greason-Walker, Wales Tourism Alliance’s Wales policy advisor who lives at Nantmel, near Rhayader and Anthony Rosser, Hospitality Cymru’s chair who is general manager and operations director of Lake Vyrnwy Hotel.
The taskforce’s letter praises the First Minister and Welsh Government for saving lives in Wales and protecting health services from being overwhelmed. However, it says the time has come to reopen the hospitality and tourism sector.
“We appeal with urgency for an early reopening and the positive opportunity to help you begin the economic rebuild that our great industry can help the new government to deliver in the coming months,” it states.
“As a taskforce, we very much look forward to working together with that government to bring forward business stability, staff wellbeing, community replenishment and a Croeso Cynnes to our customers and visitors.”
Rowland Rees-Evans, MWT Cymru’s chairman.
In the second instalment of a new series of blog articles called #MWTBehindTheScenes, our MWT Chief Exec Val Hawkins gives a run-down about some of the work we've been doing recently to represent and lobby for your best interests.
Wales Tourism Week
We’ll pick up where we left off in May, when Val represented Mid Wales at the Senedd in Cardiff at the launch event for Wales Tourism Week, and also attended the reception in Westminster. The WTA, along with its partners including MWT promoted the value of partnership and raise awareness of the industry’s importance to the Welsh economy. (Read all about WTW in this article from the Wales Tourism Alliance).
During May we also met with Powys County Council in Llandrindod Wells to discuss tourism in the county and we held our Mid Wales Tourism Board Meeting at our offices in Machynlleth; thanks to all our board members who give up their time and expertise voluntarily to support MWT and the tourism industry in Mid Wales.
A special thanks to Jonathan Jones CBE for giving up his time to attend our May board meeting. For those that don't know Jo, he joined the Wales Tourist Board in 1973 and in appointed the Chief Executive of the WTB in 1999. In 2006 WTB was taken into the Welsh Assembly and became ‘Visit Wales’ as we know it today. Retiring in 2013, he shares his experience, knowledge and passion for Welsh tourism and today he is a special advisor for the Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism; the capacity in which he attended our MWT board meeting. See image below.
Into June, Val attended the Gwynedd Destination Partnership Meeting and a Tourism Ambassadors for Wales meeting in Llandudno – a showcase event to look at how ambassador schemes have been implemented in different areas of Wales.
In July, Val represented MWT at:
· The Mid Wales Regional Tourism Forum at the Royal Welsh Showground in Builth Wells.
· A Cross Party Group meeting in Cardiff where Jason Thomas, Director for Culture, Tourism and Sport for Welsh Government presented an overview of Visit Wales’ action plan for tourism. We also met with the Visit Wales marketing team at Treforest.
· A meeting with North Wales Tourism to discuss the current North & Mid Wales Business Events project and more.
· A presentation to the Visit Wales Quality Assessment team regarding business engagement.
We hope this gives you a flavour of some of the work we do that you don’t necessarily get to hear about - we’ll endeavour to keep you up to date. If you have any questions about our representational role, please contact email@example.com
In the first of a new series of blog articles called #MWTBehindTheScenes, our MWT Chief Exec Val Hawkins gives us a run-down on just some of the work we've been doing recently to support, represent and lobby for your best interests.
Following our Mid Wales Tourism Conference in February at the Metropole Hotel in Llandrindod Wells, Val attended an event organised by Visit Britain which brought together a consultative group of industry experts at the Celtic Manor to discuss the UK tourism sector deal.
Into March, MWT met with the new Visit Wales Head of Marketing to discuss promotion of the Mid Wales region. We also represented Mid Wales at the Mid Wales Tourism Forum in Newtown, and at the Mid Wales Business Network meeting organised by MWMG and Business Wales. Towards the end of the month, Val attended the Visit Wales Tourism Summit at The Metropole where discussions centred on shaping future priorities for tourism and the wider visitor economy in Wales when the tourism strategy for Wales comes to an end in 2020.
In April MWT met with Aberystwyth University to discuss the possibility of a research and GIS mapping project to help promote the region. We also met with the team behind freetobook, an online booking software provider, to negotiate a reduced rate for MWT members who wish to use the system.
Discussions were also had with MWT web developers about an ongoing programme of enhancements to our Visit Mid Wales website that we have in the pipeline. At the end of the month Val attended a Visit Wales meeting in Swansea to discuss the new TIPF funded ‘This is #RealMidWales’ project which we have successfully secured funding for - more exciting news and updates to follow about this.
It’s also been great to host WASCO (the Wales Association of Self Catering Operators), and The Wales Association of Self Catering Agents who have both held meetings in our board room at our offices in Machynlleth recently.
Last but not least, into May, Val will be representing Mid Wales at the Senedd in Cardiff at the launch event for Wales Tourism Week, and will also attending the reception in Westminster.
So it’s a busy time! We hope this gives you a flavour of some of the work we do that you don’t necessarily get to hear about - we’ll endeavour to keep you up to date. If you have any questions about our representational role, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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