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.