WALES is a nation of spectacular beauty. The rolling hills of Monmouthshire, the heights of Snowdonia, and the golden sands of the Gower are just a few spectacular tourist attractions that we, as a country, should be proud of.
Every year, thousands of tourists flock to Wales to see our beautiful countryside, great attractions and rich history and culture. As a result, our tourism and hospitality industry form an integral part of the Welsh economy, supporting an astonishing 1 in 7 jobs in Wales.
Despite hundreds of thousands of jobs in Wales relying on the tourism and hospitality sector, the Labour Government is looking to stifle the sector through a tourism tax rather than look to support businesses recovering from the impacts of the pandemic.
Last week, at the Royal Welsh Show, the Welsh Conservatives put forward our ambitious tourism strategy, ensuring there are greater incentives and better schemes to help people visit Wales and support the sector.
Firstly, we have been listening to businesses and want to scrap the proposed tourism tax, as well as cutting the self-catering accommodation regulation threshold to 105 days. This is what the sector has been asking for, and this is what the sector needs.
Not only do we want to support businesses, but we also want to support people. We want to establish a Tourism and Hospitality industry to upskill jobs and the industry for the future, ensuring those in the sector have secure and higher paying roles.
We also want to see the establishing of a plan for promoting heritage and specialty tourism such as sport and faith. This would highlight and advertise the wide variety of different attractions that Wales has to offer.
Wales hosts many major events every year and more needs to be done to proactively capitalise on this source of publicity. From concerts, sporting events and Hollywood filming locations, there is so much we can do to draw more international tourists to Wales to show off all that we have to offer.
The tourism sector has faced two summers worth of restrictions and is desperately trying to rebuild out of the pandemic and now faces the struggles of inflation. The Welsh Government should not be looking to restrict the sector. Now, more than ever, we must support it to see it grow and flourish to reach its true potential.