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Workshop 5: The Experience Economy

Workshop 5. 26 October, 08:30 - 09:30


Challenges for the region

  • Important to recognise the differences within the region, needs to be sharpened and ensure that any plans reflect local needs as well as those of the visitors - each is a visitor in his or her own area.

  • Ensure the tourism sector considers, prepares for, and responds to the different requirements of the new/different visitors who come to the area now since Covid

  • Visitor season completely changed. All year around facilities and suitability of infrastructure to accommodate this.

  • Effects of Covid and Brexit highlighted existing industry staffing level problems; urgent action required to persuade people to consider the sector as an attractive career path and not as low-paid, seasonal work; skills gap is a challenge.

  • Lack of the outdoor recreation sector in the document.

  • Challenge to join up better across the region

  • Need to sell Wales more and the beauty of the scenery - a step change from “Welcome to Wales”, need to ensure the breadth of north Wales is targeted.

  • We need to encourage people to spend more in N Wales

  • Mass caravan parks seem to have been omitted; need to be more inclusive and engage with the businesses and “ordinary tourism” particularly in the North East.

  • Need to ask community views

  • Need to manage visitor numbers; don’t have sufficient strong management of honey pots; need a pipeline of major Events coming into the region so that towns, communities and LA’s can plan to maximise benefits.

  • Housing impact needs to be addressed

  • Need a more joined up approach across the whole of north Wales; need a joined up approach on Transport, this element is weak.

  • More needed on the circular Economy

  • Not much about Social enterprises/employee owned business – these have a massive role to play within the experience economy; the term business is used quite loosely; social businesses have shown how important they are within the experience economy especially during the pandemic.

  • Need clarity on public and private funding and where they meet – important to secure investment; structural long term Investment seems to be missing.



 


Opportunities for the region

  • Make tourism a 12 month opportunity; It’s happening, but currently only in pockets; opportunities could link in with community benefit;

  • Future collaborative opportunity in the North Wales region for all businesses including social enterprises not just the traditional business sectors e.g., micro-organisations going macro; bring pride to the area and encourage more people to stay in the area; recognise the contribution of social businesses to create a circular economy.

  • Internal tourists – a drive to encourage local businesses, aimed at people already in Wales; be a tourist in your own areas.

  • Opportunities for education could link with tourism; provide a pathway with support i.e. start with no skill, get upskilled and then end up with a job that uses these skills; tourism gets a bad name, now is a good time to share some opportunities in this sector; a “Tourism Academy” an opportunity to bring in community/people to volunteer by offering them nationally recognised qualifications/training;

  • Working in Wales is a pleasurable experience, make clear link between the health and wellbeing benefits of living in North Wales.

  • Give publicity and communicate the experience economy of the whole area and not just that North West Wales.

  • Need to manage visitor numbers and promote other places in North Wales that are as beautiful; need destination Management system across north Wales for the whole region;

  • Need a pipeline of major Events coming into north Wales so that towns, communities and LA’s can plan to maximise benefits.


Priorities for the region to pave the way for 2040 vision

  • Need fewer priorities, include timeframes to ensure buy in from businesses.

  • Destination management plan needed for the N Wales region recognising how it affects residents and communities

  • Need sufficient capacity, infrastructure and a co-ordinated approach in the area to respond to the huge increase in tourism and demand for year-round availability of attractions and services

  • Need to consult locally and regionally when funding the priorities

  • Further Engagement with Communities is necessary; opportunity to regenerate communities at the level of employment and entrepreneurship

  • Companies of all sizes must be supported to maximise use of digital platforms.

  • Need to align organisations with these priorities

  • Link the culture of Wales with tourism. It would fit well with the experience economy as Wales is a different country, we have our own history and culture and many people do come to experience that already.

  • Need to undertake research, agree recommendations and how it can all be delivered; suggested task force to secure investment and delivery.

  • What about case studies to give a sense check, of what things are like?


Future collaborative working principles for the region

  • Basic vision is here, now need research, identify hurdles, gaps and opportunities and make recommendations which need to be more strategic, regionally not locally – with dedicated resources needed to deliver this.

  • Create another workshop bringing all together, a mini COP for Tourism to take it forward

  • Need to agree where/how we can lobby to ensure buy in from businesses.

  • Partnership central to continually improving tackling the challenge of maintaining quality.

  • Don’t lose sight of local needs when developing and funding projects across region

  • Promote the area as a destination by offering high quality tourism facilities and working to extend the visitor season and associated benefits.

  • Community input is key and central to any ambitious plans for the region.

  • Need to develop across the region rather than across different sectors as many sectors will face similar challenges

  • This document is a helpful document but only if we can get support to deliver, from NWEAB or CRO team, need to take a regional more strategic approach.

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