The new government strategy, Welcome to Wales: Priorities for the visitor economy 2020-2025, was launched in January 2020. The ambition is to grow tourism for the good of Wales, aiming for skills development, equitable economic growth, environmental sustainability, social and cultural enrichment and health benefits.
The strategy highlights that Visit Wales will continue to work with the industry and take a more prominent role in promoting skills for tourism, hospitality and events. By the spring of 2020, a Tourism Skills Partnership is to be established to bring together the sector, Regional Skills Partnerships, Further Education, Higher Education and others.
The goal of environmental sustainability will be achieved by sustaining natural resources, improving environmental performance and encouraging sustainable transport. Social and cultural enrichment will be achieved by giving a warm welcome for everyone, providing opportunities for young people and promoting a thriving Welsh language and culture. There is an emphasis on inclusive tourism and the need for more access improvements for disabled visitors. A Brilliant Basics fund will deliver small-scale tourism infrastructure improvements, for example, accessible changing places on the beach.
A key priority is an innovative Cymru Wales brand delivered by a digital-first industry and the development of a Visit Wales ‘Centre of Excellence’ for digital innovation. The Centre will act as a physical hub for the brand, a creative space for professionals in the sector to work together as well as running webinars for businesses.
All of these progressive aims are timely and relevant to the Next Tourism Generation Competition 2020. This aims to promote industry engagement with education. Read about the launch of the competition here.
Looking into the future, this is an exciting time for tourism development for the good of Wales.
At the beginning of 2020 we started to really see the results of all the hard work, as I was nominated for the Welsh Wedding Awards 2020 for ‘Honeymoon Organiser of the Year’ and won!!! Then a few weeks later the business was a finalist in the Business Growth South Wales Awards for ‘Rising Star of the Year’. Followed by me then being selected for the TTG Top 30 under 30. It’s fair to say 2020 was off to a flying start!
On 7 and 8 October Next Tourism Generation alliance partner Cardiff Met University attended VAC2020, (#vac2020), a 2 day virtual conference, to gain a better understanding of the concerns of the UK Visitor Attractions sector in 2020.
Louise Dixey from the Next Tourism Generation Project partner, Cardiff Met, featured in a BBC TV and radio program as well as in an online news article on Saturday 17th October 2020. The media coverage focused on the negative impacts of the pandemic on the tourism industry in Wales and how to ensure a lasting recovery. Louise emphasized that Visit Wales has a progressive tourism framework that prioritizes sustainability and that, “Now more than ever, Wales must do everything to ensure tourism in the future supports the wellbeing of local people and future generations to come.” She also highlighted the surge in domestic tourism and the need to disperse visitors away from iconic attractions such as the Snowdown mountain. The NTG project in Wales has worked closely with the Snowdonia National Park to support the development of a Tourism Ambassador skills program.
The Tourism Society Cymru in partnership with the Next Tourism Generation (NTG) Project partner, Cardiff Met, came together to plan and create a Tourism Skills Competition for students. Calls went out inviting students from colleges and universities across Wales to pitch their best experiences of industry engagement, digital innovation and sustainable tourism. READ MORE
Louise Dixey from the Next Tourism Generation Alliance partner, Cardiff Met, has been appointed to the National Jury for Green Key by Keep Wales Tidy. Green Key is the largest environmental accreditation award internationally. READ MORE
Cardiff Met is the Wales partner in the Next Tourism Generation (NTG) Alliance that aims to help address digital and sustainability skills gaps in tourism and related sectors. Over the last ten years in different parts of Wales, various Tourism Ambassador training programmes have developed to help deliver destination management objectives. Ambassador programmes recruit and train people to be experts on their distinctive area and provide a unique and authentic experience for tourists imparting a “sense of place”. Training programmes increase customer care and digital skills and promote conservation of the natural environment and cultural heritage. Benefits to the destination from such programmes potentially include active networking, improved local product knowledge and communication, enhanced visitor experience and higher visitor numbers, spend and length of stay by presenting perspectives of Ambassadors and other organisations that attended. The workshop was a collaboration between the NTG project at Cardiff Met and Snowdonia National Park to develop an Ambassador training programme for Snowdon Mountain (Yr Wyddfa), the highest and most visited peak in Wales. READ MORE