Welsh tourism body’s role will be ‘critical’ after Brexit

The new chair of the Wales Tourism Alliance says partnerships between education and industry will be increasingly important after the UK leaves the European Union.

Andrew Campbell said: “Looking ahead to the post-Brexit landscape, partnerships between education and industry will assume an even greater importance, as concerns over labour supply and skill shortages heighten.

“The WTA will therefore have a critical role to play in helping to address this challenge, with a need to bring creative and innovative proposals concerning new educational provision to the table.”

He added: “Geopolitical, social and environmental change has been fast moving and has impacted upon all economic sectors, particularly tourism.

“There is therefore an industry imperative, if tourism in Wales is to continue to prosper and grow, to be proactive towards events now, rather than to be reactive later.

“The WTA must continue to make its voice heard about policies which may impact upon the visitor economy.”

He said greater emphasis must be placed upon gathering market intelligence and widening the membership of the WTA, adding: “If in these uncertain times, rules are to be rewritten, it is incumbent for the WTA to be best placed to shape and influence discussions.”

Campbell has worked in the hotel and institutional catering sectors, and was head of the School of Tourism at the University of Wales Trinity St David until September 2017.

He now has a wider strategic role within the Faculty of Business, and is vice chair of Pembrokeshire Tourism. He sits on various committees including Visit Wales SW Regional Forum, Carmarthenshire County Council Destination Management Team, steering group for the proposed Wales School of Hospitality, St David’s Diocesan Faith Tourism Group, North Pembrokeshire Transport Forum – and being based in Fishguard, he belongs to a Welcome Group for cruise ship passengers to the port.

He also paid tribute to outgoing chair, Adrian Barsby, “who has worked tirelessly on behalf of the alliance”.

• Visit Wales will hold its annual tourism industry roadshows in September, looking at how the tourist board can work with the industry on the Year of Discovery in 2019.

It will update businesses about the digital integration of its tourism and business-facing websites, and speakers will talk about content for travel articles working with Visit Wales. There will also be showcases of Welsh food and drink, and free business advice.