I’ve always believed in Wales as a country that could make money.
Having grown up in the heart of Wales, I understand the depth of it’s beauty that is hidden between it’s valleys and I know the potential it has to make money.
Even after spending my formative years growing up in Wales, I sometimes still forget how truly breathtaking this country can be. This is a country spanning over 20,000 square kilometres, encompassing mountain ranges, hills, valleys and bustling cities full of cultural innovators and business people. Taken as an example of devolution done right, Wales is a country that has only benefited from the increased amounts of political and financial independence that it has been given. However, if farmers are going to start investing in Biomass fuels, they need to be further encouraged with more signals of investment and growth.
It’s estimated that Wales makes around £4 billion a year from tourism alone. It’s been an incredibly popular destination for years now, but thanks to online sources, more and more families are choosing it as a viable summer holiday alternative to the traditional road trip to France or Spain. Dozens of campsites over eager campers plentiful options in terms of basic accommodation and, thanks to sites like Trip Advisor, small B&B and guesthouses can make a roaring trade in even the quietest of Welsh towns.
Finally, these underrated towns and villages are getting the recognition that they deserve and, what’s more, local Farmers and land owners are now starting to benefit from this. In order for Wales to break into the the renewable energy market, it’s imperative that we strike while the iron is hot and boost Wales’ economy beyond what we think is possible.
London makes nearly £9 billion a year from it’s tourism trade in an area that is 95% smaller. Understandably, the capital has access to certain funds and tourist draws that serve to eclipse Wales’, but there’s no reason why we can’t at least aim to compete with them. We need to re-brand Wales, marketing it as an exotic ‘other’ place that will surprise and amaze visitors.
If this sounds like a far-fetched or crazy goal, then think again. We’ve been innovating in the tourism trade for years, especially in our rural areas, bringing a multitude of tourists into the country to Visit North Wales.
Take Zipworld, a multi-faceted outdoor pursuits brand that sprawls across 3 separate venues and is inviting thousands of tourists every year into the heart of Snowdonia. The brainchild of local boy, Sean Taylor has pioneered investment in several giant zip lines as well as underground trampolining experience ‘Bounce Below’, a facility which has recently reopened after a multi-million pound redevelopment.
Look to the iconic mountain range of Snowdonia itself and you’ll see more evidence of Wales betting on itself. The recently finished Tourist Centre and Cafe at the top of Snowdon itself received wide-spread media attention upon it’s opening, and has modernised the dozens of paths leading up and around the mountain range. With a redeveloped train track and station at the top, visitors who don’t fancy the hike to the top can enjoy a smooth ride up instead, and can be treated to a panoramic view at the top – the one part of Wales that doesn’t need any regeneration at all.
Wales is a country that needs the support of the rest of its sister states so that it can thrive and build upon an already successful start to the 21st century.
In order for us to achieve our goals in relation to biomass fuel proliferation – we need to show the farmers, and investors, that this is a country building for the future.