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Voice of Mid Wales tourism sector must be heard, say Plaid Cymru leaders

Plaid Cymru leaders in Dwyfor Meirionnydd have emphasised the importance of Mid Wales tourism and hospitality businesses having their voices heard in Cardiff and Westminster as they deal with a raft of new rules impacting their sector.

Liz Saville-Roberts and Mabon ap Gwynfor, MP and MS respectively for Dwyfor Meirionnydd, were speaking after meeting staff, directors and members of MWT Cymru (Mid Wales Tourism) at the Trefeddian Hotel, Aberdyfi on Monday morning.

They warmly welcomed the opportunity to meet with MWT Cymru directors, staff and businesses from their constituency. Plaid Cymru has a co-operation agreement with the Welsh Government which allows them to influence policy.

Mr ap Gwynfor pledged to ask Dawn Bowden, Deputy Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, to meet MWT Cymru members to hear first-hand the trading challenges they face.

The meeting is the last in a series that MWT Cymru has organised to meet MPs and Members of the Senedd representing, Powys, Ceredigion and Southern Snowdonia. The independent, not for profit organisation represents around 600 tourism and hospitality businesses across the region.

Mrs Saville-Roberts and Mr ap Gwynfor heard about the challenges facing MWT Cymru members, which included the potential impact on rural Wales of the Welsh Government’s taxation and licensing of self-catering accommodation and a proposed tourism levy and the cost of living crisis.

Affordable homes which allow local people to remain living in their communities and the need for infrastructure investment were also discussed.

MWT Cymru members called for the Welsh Government to develop policies to positively support and promote the growth of tourism in Mid Wales.

MWT Cymru’s chairman Rowland Rees-Evans, chief executive Val Hawkins, MBE and William Moeran, general manager of The Trefeddian Hotel, Aberdyfi, gave an overview of the tourism and hospitality sectors in Mid Wales.

Other speakers included MWT Cymru director Meurig Jones, location manager at Portmeirion, Caroline Cave, a director of the Trefeddian Hotel, Kirsty Busfield, co-owner of The Old Vicarage, Corris, Colin Markham, whose family own a farm and holiday let businesses near Tywyn and Sian Jones from Macdonald Plas Talgarth Resort, Pennal.

Mr ap Gwynfor said: “It was a really useful and informative meeting and also good to develop a relationship with people working in the sector. It has highlighted the importance of individual businesses and the sector as a whole to our communities, economy and culture.

“I am looking forward to developing this relationship to represent the views of MWT Cymru in the Senedd and in discussions in the Welsh Government. We need to ensure that the tourism sector in Mid Wales gets the investment and attention that it deserves and we have a fantastic tourism offer here – the best in the world, I think.”

Mrs Saville-Roberts added: “This meeting has improved our understanding of the critical role of family tourism businesses in Mid Wales, the challenges they are facing and the opportunities the industry can provide to Wales, so long as their voice is heard and their experience is included in future legislation.”

Mr Rees-Evans, managing director of Penrhos Park, Llanrhystud, said it was important that MWT Cymru continues to engage with and influence political leaders.

“It was nice that we, as tourism businesses here in Mid Wales, were able to sit around the table to discuss decisions made in the Welsh Government. We all know that there are a few heavy trains coming down the line that we will have to deal with in the coming months.”