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30 Jan 2020

Welsh government to invest £60m in tourism

The Welsh government has announced plans to invest £60m ($78m, €71m) in its tourism industry over the next five years.

The investment forms part of a five-year plan, called Welcome to Wales: Priorities for the Visitor Economy 2020-2025, which aims to address some of the main challenges facing the industry, such as seasonality, spend and spread.

The £60m ($78m, €71m) will be spread across two funds, the £10m ($13m, €11.8m) Brilliant Basics fund and the £50m ($65m, €60m) Wales Tourism Investment Fund.

The Brilliant Basics fund will be allocated to the maintenance of tourist infrastructure, while the Wales Tourism Investment Fund, provided in part by the Development Bank of Wales, will be used to help finance 'reputation enhancing' capital investment projects.

The plan also recognised the significance of events for year-round tourism and proposed Event Wales, an organisation that will grow, attract and develop cultural, business and sporting events in order to attract more visitors to the country year-round.

In addition, Visit Wales will focus its marketing efforts on growing off-peak tourism by encouraging people to spend more time in Wales, as well as develop new experiences that will 'reflect Wales' stand-out strengths' as a country. It will also name two new themed years for 2022 and 2024.

"Over the past decade, tourism in Wales has been transformed, but there's room for further growth in our visitor economy and we want to support that," said Mark Drakeford, first minister of Wales.

"We want to develop high-quality, year-round experiences, which are good for visitors and host communities. Sustainable growth can deliver health, environmental and cultural benefits by protecting and promoting our strengths,"

"There are challenges facing the industry, including from Brexit. We believe the best response is to continue with our core business - to recognise tourism's ongoing potential to act as a bedrock for the Welsh economy in projecting a positive message of and from Wales," he added.

Lord Elis-Thomas, deputy minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, said: "We want to build on our recent success ad by 2025 we want to be known as a place that offers world-leading adventure, creative culture and language and outstanding, protected landscapes - and a place that wants to look after them for future generations."

"It has been very clear that the long term growth of our own sector relies on caring for the things that attract people here in the first place. It's also what future markets will expect."

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