A NEW chair has been appointed to lead the Wales Tourism Alliance (WTA) which represents all sectors of tourism industry in Wales.
Suzy Davies officially takes over from Professor Andrew Campbell, who has spent more than three years in the voluntary post, on September 9. Mrs Davies is a former Conservative Member of the National Assembly for Wales, now known as Senedd Cymru.
Pembrokeshire-based Mr Campbell, a Professor of Practice in Tourism at the University of Wales Trinity St David and a tourism consultant, has helped steer the tourism industry through the Covid-19 pandemic, one of the most difficult periods in its history.
“Whilst it is with some sadness that I am stepping down, I warmly welcome Suzy Davies to the role,” he said. “With her distinguished background and in the knowledge that she will carry out the task with great gusto, I am confident that she will bring her own unique signature to the organisation.
“It has been a pleasure and privilege to have made a contribution at such a challenging time and I wish to pay tribute to all tourism businesses and agencies in Wales for displaying such resilience in the face of profound adversity. “We are hopefully sailing into calmer and more navigable waters now.
“My thanks also to all at the WTA for their support during the last three years, in particular the efforts of policy advocate, Adrian Greason-Walker for his valuable advice and counsel at all times.”
Mrs Davies was a regional Member of National Assembly for Wales for South Wales West from 2011 until earlier this year and served as Shadow Minister for Tourism, Culture and the Welsh Language. She also chaired the Assembly’s Cross Party Group on Tourism. After a career in both marketing and management, she became a solicitor and politician.
“Wales is ripe for further economic, environmentally savvy development and its visitor economy and tourism is core to that development,” she said. “After a lifelong desire for the world to see how wonderful this country is, I am excited to be joining such committed, experienced people who want to be part of a proud and successful Wales.
“The industry has risen to the challenge of Covid magnificently, but the surge in domestic visitor numbers this year cannot blind us to the fragility of the sector’s infrastructure.
“Busy today is not the same as sustainable long term. We want the visitor economy to make a stable, balanced, desirable and valuable contribution to the nation’s collective wellbeing. “Tourism, hospitality, skills providers and local authorities – and Welsh Government – all recognise the challenges and the opportunities.
“WTA is the collective voice of the industry in Wales. Failure to listen to it will mean failure to meet those challenges or to capitalise on those opportunities – and none of us wants that.”
WTA board member, Barbara Griffiths, said: “Professor Campbell has gone above and beyond normal expectations over the last 18 months supporting the whole of the tourism industry in Wales, for which we are extremely grateful.
“We now look forward with great pleasure to working with Suzy Davies who has experience in the Senedd and whose family runs a tourism business.”