“Now is not the time for talking – our tourism industry needs action”

Plaid Cymru’s Helen Mary Jones MS calls for clearer signs of what’s to come for struggling tourism industry

Plaid Cymru has called on Welsh Government to give advance notice of all plans for the tourist industry.

Plaid Cymru Shadow Minister for the Economy, Helen Mary Jones MS said that she fears that when the signal is given to start opening up the tourist industry again, business won’t have had enough time to make the necessary changes due to lack of timely guidance, and for some, it might be “too late.”

In Wales, non-essential retail businesses, including tourist attractions, have remained shut over fears they will perpetuate the spread of coronavirus. A third of Wales’s million strong workforce is currently furloughed, and areas that rely most heavily on tourism - Conwy, Pembrokeshire and Powys - are most heavily hit. 

Ms Jones also urged Welsh Government to conclude talks with Westminster so that more can be known about the promised offer of further support, which may be the lifeline some businesses need to stop them closing their doors forever. She said that, without this assurance we cannot be sure that when we re-open tourism “the industry is still there.”

Ms Jones pointed out the importance of a needs based solution and asked that any package of support coming from Westminster must be based on the “scale and importance of tourism in Wales”.

Ms Jones added that “Wales needs a solution that suits Wales.”

Plaid Cymru Shadow Minister for the Economy, Helen Mary Jones, MS said:

“I really can’t stress enough how important it is to give the tourism industry fair warning of any changes they may have to make. It’s one thing putting a sign up asking for visitors to wash their hands. It’s another matter to build a second door in order to create a one-way system around your premises. We need detail, and we need it now.

“I’m also calling for clarity and a clear time table on the promised longer term support packages. With a third of Welsh workforce on furlough, if further assurance on the next layer of support isn’t given soon, we could see many of these people being made redundant.

“And lastly, Wales needs a solution that suits Wales. Any new package of support coming from Westminster cannot be calculated on population, but must be based on the scale and importance of tourism in Wales. We are so much more dependent on tourism than other parts of the UK, and any package of support for the tourism industry must reflect that.

“Welsh Government has long been in talks with Westminster, but the time for talking is surely now passed – we need action, otherwise how can we be sure that when we re-open tourism, the industry, and its infrastructure, is still there?”

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