Today (6 October) we announced our relaunch with a commitment to advocate for the sector as it faces some of its most challenging obstacles in recent times.
Tourism businesses across the county are facing imminent changes to legislation, such as the recently introduced amendment to the non-domestic rates, more commonly known as the “182 rule”, the proposed introduction of a Tourism Levy, a Licencing scheme for accommodation providers and a possible change to the school year calendar which could have enormous unintended consequences for hospitality businesses, activity and attraction providers.
The industry also must contend with the changes to the Fire Safety regulations (1st October 2023) for holiday accommodation in England and Wales. From this date it becomes a legal requirement for holiday lets to provide full-length, written assessments, covering all aspects of fire risk. Whilst guest safety is paramount, the renewed guidance may well require remedial works to properties at a substantial cost of implementation.
These cumulative changes in legislation come amid an already challenging economic climate where the business operational costs are increasing, and our customers are facing the highest cost of living challenges within a generation.
Addressing these challenges, Sioned Bannister, Chair of Carmarthenshire Tourism Association (CTA), stated: "In the face of these unprecedented obstacles, the Carmarthenshire Tourism Association stands resolute, ready to champion our sector. We're here to advocate for our members and ensure Carmarthenshire remains a premier tourism destination despite the storm ahead."
The CTA, which was founded in 1996 as a non-profit organisation, has a proven track record for supporting and developing tourism within Carmarthenshire. Guided by our voluntary directors, our core objective is to facilitate grass-roots trade engagement and provide advice and support to its members.
Following a brief hiatus during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are back and continuing with this mission. We have revitalised our approach to advocate and lobby on behalf of the sector and to enhance trade engagement, strengthen member connections, and attract new participants through an innovative programme of events and activities.
A particular focus will be on keeping members abreast of new government policy or legislation that could affect their businesses, providing guidance and best practice advice, sharing relevant news and funding opportunities and facilitating peer-to-peer support and networking opportunities.
Ms Bannister added: “The CTA's return marks a pivotal moment in Carmarthenshire's journey to reclaim its status as a premier tourism destination. With renewed dedication, the Association is poised to lead, harnessing the resilience of the local tourism trade. We are excited for what the future holds and are looking forward to connecting with new and existing members in the coming months.”
We are announcing our return with a promotional offer of free membership until April 2024. The free membership offer is open to anyone who runs a tourism business in Carmarthenshire, including accommodation providers; caravanning and camping; activities and attractions; suppliers and catering venues. Members will gain access to a number of benefits including access to the CTA networking groups, members' Facebook page, invitations to sector events scheduled for this autumn and up-to-date industry information.
The next sector meetings hosted by the CTA are scheduled for:
Attractions & Activity Providers -Friday 20th October at 11am- 1pm.
Accommodation Providers- Thursday 26th October at 11am- 1pm.
Both meetings will be held at Carmarthen Museum, Parc Yr Esgob - Bishop’s Park, The Old Bishop’s Palace, Abergwili, Carmarthenshire SA31 2JG
For more information contact the Carmarthenshire Tourism Association at: firstname.lastname@example.org.