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Monday, March 28, 2022

MS calls for more Welsh Government support for tourist sector

* Sam Rowlands MS, far left, on a recent visit to Llangollen Railway. 

Sam Rowlands MS, chair of the Senedd’s Tourism Cross Party Group, is calling for more Welsh Government support for the tourism sector.

The Senedd Member for north Wales was commenting on the latest Council Tax Empty Dwellings Regulations.

He said: “The tourism sector is so important here in Wales. We welcome around 11 million overnight domestic visitors, 87 million day visitors, around a million international visitors in normal years.

“These people come to our country, spend their money, support local jobs, enjoy all that we have to offer, and in my own patch in north Wales, this sector is worth around £3.5 billion a year to our economy. 

“One of the big concerns that the tourism sector are sharing with me is the Government's latest council tax empty dwellings regulations and specifically, the criteria for self-catering accommodation. 

“The new changes mean they are now in line with business rates instead of council tax with properties needing to be let for 182 days, which is a 160% increase, and available to let for 252 days, which is an 80% increase. 

“Many people in tourism sector are shocked with these changes, and they seem to be detrimental to their livelihoods.” 

Mr Rowlands asked the Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething, did he think the changes were good for the sector. 

The Minister said it was a challenge to strike a balance which could not be struck successfully if they did nothing and simply carried on as they were.

Mr Rowlands added: “I am extremely disappointed with the response from the Welsh Government. Tourism in my region of North Wales is vitally important for the economy of the area and businesses involved in this sector need to be supported more.”

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