The report – Valuing Wales’ National Parks – examines the economic contribution of our National Parks and the extent to which they impact on the lives of people in Wales and beyond.
The report found that the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park and the surrounding area attracts 4.2million visitors a year, supports over 7000 jobs and contributes £187million Gross Value Added to the Welsh economy.
Paul Davies the Assembly Member for Preseli Pembrokeshire said: “I consider myself very lucky to both live and work in such a beautiful part of the country. Our National Parks very much symbolize the character and essence of Wales and in many respects they are Wales’ window to the world.
“Understanding their economic value is crucial on so many levels. The findings of the report, Valuing Wales’ National Parks, are very positive indeed, highlighting their significant contribution to the Welsh economy.”
In a Statement of Opinion raised at the National Assembly – AMs including Paul Davies paid tribute to the work of the Pembrokeshire Coast, Brecon Beacons and Snowdonia National Parks.
The Statement of Opinion reads: ‘This National Assembly commends the work of our three National Park Authorities and recognises their significant contribution to the Welsh economy – estimated to be in the region of £1billion. We further acknowledge that the National Parks of Wales play a pivotal role in the economic development of their respective regions that extends far beyond their physical boundaries. The specialised and consistent approach to the management of these natural assets ensures their protection and sustainability for the enjoyment of both residents and the 12 million annual visitors’.
The report found that together Wales’ National Parks attracted over 12 million visitors each year spending an estimated £1billion on goods and services, outperforming their English and Scottish counterparts in terms of visitor nights – with a higher proportion of visitors staying in the Welsh countryside.
The findings of the report not only highlight the fundamental role the National Parks play in underpinning our economy, but also recognise the recreation, wellbeing and cultural benefits they bring and their wider tourism value as high-profile international brands.
Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority Chairman Cllr Mike James added: “The results are revealing. Pembrokeshire Coast National Park attracts over 4million visitors each year, supporting over 7,000 local jobs.
“Their conservation and social wellbeing value of the National Park has long been recognised, but this report has given us a real insight into the tangible economic benefits and I’m naturally pleased with its findings. I’m also delighted with the cross-party support we’ve received at the National Assembly for Wales.”
The findings of the report have been endorsed by Assembly Members from across the political spectrum, who have come together to show their support for the work of Wales’ three National Park Authorities.
The report, produced by Arup, Consulting, was commissioned by National Parks Wales, the Welsh Local Government Association and Natural Resources Wales.