Tourism leaders from mid Wales have met with politicians to discuss the importance of the industry.
Liz Saville-Roberts and Mabon ap Gwynfor, MP and MS respectively for Dwyfor Meirionnydd, held a meeting with staff, directors and members of MWT Cymru (Mid Wales Tourism), which represents tourism businesses in Ceredigion, Powys and Meirionnydd, at the Trefeddian Hotel, Aberdyfi.
Mr ap Gwynfor pledged to ask Dawn Bowden, deputy minister for arts, sport and tourism, to meet MWT Cymru members to hear the trading challenges they face.
The meeting is the last in a series that MWT Cymru has organised to meet MPs and Members of the Senedd. The independent, not-for-profit organisation represents around 600 tourism and hospitality businesses across the region.
Mrs Saville-Roberts and Mr ap Gwynfor heard about the challenges facing MWT Cymru members, which included the potential impact on rural Wales of the Welsh Government’s taxation and licensing of self-catering accommodation and a proposed tourism levy and the cost of living crisis.
Affordable homes which allow local people to remain living in their communities and the need for infrastructure investment were also discussed.
MWT Cymru members called for the Welsh Government to develop policies to positively support and promote the growth of tourism in mid Wales.
MWT Cymru chairman Rowland Rees-Evans, chief executive Val Hawkins and William Moeran, general manager of The Trefeddian Hotel gave an overview of the tourism and hospitality sectors in the region.
Other speakers included MWT Cymru director Meurig Jones, location manager at Portmeirion; Caroline Cave, a director of the Trefeddian Hotel; Kirsty Busfield, co-owner of The Old Vicarage, Corris; Colin Markham, whose family own a farm and holiday let businesses near Tywyn; and Sian Jones from Macdonald Plas Talgarth Resort, Pennal.
Mr ap Gwynfor said: “It was a really useful and informative meeting and also good to develop a relationship with people working in the sector. It has highlighted the importance of individual businesses and the sector as a whole to our communities, economy and culture.”
Mrs Saville-Roberts added: “This meeting has improved our understanding of the critical role of family tourism businesses in mid Wales, the challenges they are facing and the opportunities the industry can provide to Wales, so long as their voice is heard and their experience is included in future legislation.”
Mr Rees-Evans, managing director of Penrhos Park, Llanrhystud, said it was important that MWT Cymru continues to engage with and influence political leaders.
“It was nice that we, as tourism businesses here in mid Wales, were able to sit around the table to discuss decisions made in the Welsh Government.
“We all know that there are a few heavy trains coming down the line that we will have to deal with in the coming months.”