North Wales Assembly Member and Shadow Minister for North Wales, Mark Isherwood, has called on the Welsh Government to give more support to North Wales Tourism, who he said are “doing a great job already” but could do a “great deal more” with the right support.
North Wales Tourism is one of the UK’s leading tourism organisations, supporting businesses across North Wales, with the aim to build and maintain a prosperous and sustainable tourism industry in the region.
Questioning the First Minister in the Senedd this week, Mr Isherwood urged the Welsh Government to give it more support, “With the North Wales Growth Deal hopefully moving forward, and the approach taken by the North Wales Economic Ambition Board as ‘Team North Wales’ that Visit Wales should invest more in supporting the regions to target our UK domestic market, while leaving ‘Visit Wales’ to focus on Wales’ profile internationally.
“How will the Welsh Government engage with our Regional Destination Marketing Organization, North Wales Tourism, representing approximately 1,500 tourism-related businesses in North Wales, who are doing a great job already with their ‘Go North Wales’ brand, but could do a great deal more if more support from the Welsh Government and Visit Wales was forthcoming?”
Responding the First Minister said: “We’ve talked already this afternoon about Japan, and when Wales is in Japan for the Rugby World Cup it will be a major opportunity for us to showcase Wales as a destination for visitors from that part of the world, and North Wales operators particularly have already worked very hard to increase the number of visitors from Japan visiting North Wales.
“In fact, 27 of the top 30 Japanese tour operators now include North Wales on their UK itineraries, and that is a tribute to the work that has gone on in the region to promote it as a destination. We will continue to work through the regional tourism forum from North Wales to make sure that the work that is done by Visit Wales to promote the whole of our nation fully reflects the needs of North Wales and goes on making it such a successful destination for visitors in the United Kingdom and the rest of the world.”
Mr Isherwood added: “North Wales Tourism deserves huge credit both for their involvement in the promotion of our region to Japan and elsewhere internationally, and for their work targeting the domestic UK market.
“However, the First Minister’s response dodged my separation between the international and domestic markets, and sidestepped the need for the Welsh Government’s tourism team, Visit Wales, to share power with North Wales’ own Destination Marketing Organization”.
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