North West Wales

Anglesey council tourism plan aims to boost job figures

A beach near Trearddur Bay on Anglesey
Anglesey needs to build on its 'excellent natural resources' as well as its royal connection

Anglesey is seen as a 'five star destination with three star facilities' by some, according to a tourism report.

Visitor numbers are up since the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have a home on the island, while Prince William is a pilot at RAF Valley.

The council wants to see improvements made to create 400 new jobs to boost the £250m annual tourism turnover.

No extra money is available but officers say it is achievable if everyone pulls together.

Iwan Huws, the council's principal tourism development officer says the industry is worth £250m to the island's "fragile economy", and supports over 4,000 jobs.

Following the royal wedding in 2011 some local people welcomed the "fantastic" exposure the event generated for Anglesey, saying it had been "good for businesses".

But there were also warnings that the island must build on the worldwide publicity to create jobs.

Mr Huws says the fact Prince William and Kate Middleton have a home on the island has been a definite boost.

"This value has seen a significant increase over the past few years not least due to the royal connection on the island," he says in his report, which will go before councillors next week.

The council has been looking at the new tourism plan since February last year when consultants were appointed to look at drafting a new strategy to move tourism forward on the island.

Prince William and Kate Middleton, on her first official royal engagement, on Anglesey in February 2011
Prince William and Kate Middleton, on her first official royal engagement, on Anglesey in February 2011

"There is certainly room for tourism to grow sustainably on Anglesey and major transformational developments are being discussed, for instance at Holyhead," Mr Huws said.

Such developments are not without objectors however and last year campaigners at Holyhead said proposals for a new holiday and leisure development will destroy a popular coastal park at Penrhos.

Mr Huws added the island's "greatest asset" is its 125-mile coastline path and other natural assets.

He said the way forward was for the private and public sector to work together even more closely than they currently do.

It is imperative that all departments within the council also link-up so that every decision taken takes into account the impact on tourism, he added.

The consultants report says tourism has always been important on Anglesey.

'Flourish'

"The strengths, opportunities and investment to date mean it makes sense to ensure that Anglesey continues to develop and derive benefit from tourism," the report notes.

"Anglesey needs to attract more visitors, develop its visitor economy...the island has potential to do so because it has the excellent natural resources that the market is looking for, if well-presented and promoted."

On the weaknesses the consultants say "the situation has been described by one consultee as 'a five star island with three star facilities'."

The report said towns on the island need to be revitalised.

There also needs to be investment in accommodation, eating out and shopping.

It needs "direction and co-ordination to maximize the tourism benefit".

"Tourism, properly managed, can survive and flourish into the future," the report says.

The plan will be discussed by Anglesey's economic development, tourism and property scrutiny committee at 14:00 BST on 11 September at the council offices, Llangefni.

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