According to those connected with the ‘Welsh’ tourism industry – i.e. those who want us to believe that tourism is the best thing to happen to Wales since the Anschluss of Henry VIII – investment in tourism is falling. Or to put it another way, less of our money, yours and mine, is being used to promote hell-holes like Rhyl or ‘Guy and Jeremy’s Extreme Bonding Courses For Middle Management’. This is bad news!
I have never understood why, if it is so profitable, the tourism industry itself cannot provide the funding to promote tourism. I mean, just ask yourself, does The Association of Ice Cream Manufacturers and Vendors demand money from the Notional Assembly to promote its products? No, it does not. (Before the ‘slow’ among you start Googling, I made up the AICMV.) And it’s the same with just about every other commercial activity. Those involved in any sphere have a trade association that they fund to promote their industry. Why should tourism in Wales be different?
Could it have anything to do with tourism’s role in anglicising Wales? Is this why it’s a special case? For as anyone who gives tourism in Wales a fleeting thought realises, it is an activity that is almost entirely run by outsiders that then attracts more outsiders to live here. Tourism is doing more to destroy Welsh identity than medieval armies and 19th century legislation combined. It is both colonial and ethnocidal in nature. But we have been brainwashed into believing that tourism is an unmitigated blessing.
Jac says that in these times of economic austerity, with an Assembly lacking the balls or the imagination to raise money within Wales, preferring instead to beg London for more money to manage Wales on England’s behalf, the tourism industry should be treated no differently to other economic activities. Tell the tourist-trappers that the days of handouts are gone. Not just the advertising but also the grants and loans.
‘You want to do up this old hotel? Fine. If it’s a commercially viable proposition, and you have a persuasive business plan, then a bank will lend you the money.’ Then, if it is a sound commercial proposition you will make money, pay off your loan, and eventually own a profitable business’. That’s how the system works for everybody else, why should tourism be different?