Monmouthshire County Council has given the go-ahead for a strategy to guide tourism development and marketing and management to attract visitors to the county for the next three years.
The county’s new Destination Management Plan was approved by cabinet on Wednesday 10th January, providing the opportunity for public, private and voluntary sectors to work in partnership and deliver year round sustainable tourism growth across all parts of the county. It replaced a previous plan that was published in 2013.
Tourism is vital to Monmouthshire’s economy and generates income to support a wide range of businesses that benefit from spending by visitors. According to figures supplied by tourism economic indicator STEAM (Scarborough Tourism Economic Activity Monitor), the sector brought in £190m to Monmouthshire in 2016 and supported the equivalent of 2,900 full-time jobs, accounting for approximately 10% of the workforce. Each visitor contributing to the county’s economy by purchasing food and drink, fuel, services and accommodation spends on average over £60 per day.
Monmouthshire’s tourism performance over the life of the previous plan displayed an encouraging 10% real growth in terms of economic impact, an increase of 8.7% in visitor numbers and a 1.5% growth in full-time jobs. The newly-approved Destination Management Plan has been developed following a review of the previous plan and is based on Monmouthshire’s best prospects for tourism growth as well as extensive consultation with stakeholders.
The Plan capitalizes on key opportunities for Monmouthshire, including its location at the gateway to Wales offering an initial chance to make a great impression, especially now that Severn Bridge tolls are to be phased out. It also recognises Monmouthshire’s contribution to the Cardiff Capital Region’s City Deal and the overall growth target – set by the Welsh Government’s tourism organisation, Visit Wales – of 10% or more in the sector’s value by 2020.
Councillor Bob Greenland, cabinet member with responsibility for tourism said: “Monmouthshire is a county defined by water – the Usk, Monnow, Wye, Severn and the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal shape our county and connect us with our neighbours. The inspirational landscapes, border-country heritage, intriguing creativity and tasty local produce give the area a very special character. The county’s name may sometimes be unfamiliar but within our borders are the internationally-recognised Brecon Beacons and Wye Valley. This plan is about defining what the county wants from tourism, renewing the way we work together, converting our assets into memorable experiences for visitors, and making sure visitors know about what we can offer. Above all it’s about making ‘Monmouthshire’ a mark of genuine and trusted tourism quality.
For further information contact: Tourism@monmouthshire.gov.uk