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Mid Wales tourism drive 'needs government help'

More tourists than ever are visiting Mid Wales, despite the area needing improvements to transport and communication infrastructure to reach its full potential.

Lake Vyrnwy
Lake Vyrnwy

The Welsh Government Minister for Tourism heard the region's aims for the future at an event at Lake Vyrnwy hosted by Montgomeryshire Assembly Member, Russell George.

Last year, Mr George revealed that the Welsh Government did not spend a single penny of its £8.3 million budget on specifically promoting Mid Wales as a tourist destination.

He invited tourism groups to meet Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas AM, the Welsh Government's Minister for Culture, Tourism & Sport, to discuss the future of Mid Wales Tourism and to hear from the Lake Vyrnwy Marketing Association about its vision for the future.

Mr George said: "More tourists than ever before are visiting Mid Wales to see what our wonderful region has to offer – the iconic Lake Vyrnwy, world-renowned heritage sites, beautiful market towns and fantastic mountain ranges.

“Tourism is a critical driver in economic development and job creation in Mid Wales and I want to see the Welsh Government do more to foster the right conditions for growth in this crucial sector for the Mid Wales economy.

Voice

"I was pleased that Lord Elis-Thomas acknowledged that Mid Wales needs a stronger voice when it comes to promoting its tourism industry and that infrastructure improvements to our road and rail network are essential if the Mid Wales Tourism industry is to flourish and reach its full potential.

"Representatives of the industry and I also urged for more progress when it comes to upgrading our digital infrastructure including high speed broadband and reliable mobile signal to ensure that Mid Wales can compete with other tourist hotspots which already have good digital connectivity – things which we take for granted in 2018.

"A Growth Deal for Mid Wales has the potential to transform the economic fortunes of the region by stimulating inward investment and will see better transport links, better broadband connectivity and other programmes to boost innovation, create higher paid employment and raise living standards. It is therefore essential that the tourism industry is involved in early discussions."

King Arthur’s Labyrinth, the underground attraction in Corris, near Machynlleth, was last month named Best Visitor Attraction in Mid Wales in the National Tourism Awards for Wales 2018. And the Brecon Beacons was awarded best destination for tourists to visit in Wales.

But the recent awarding of £1.5m of lottery money to boost heritage projects in Wales missed out Mid Wales. The biggest award, of £362,000, went to Gwynedd Council's effort to get World Heritage status for the slate mining areas of north Wales.

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