Taming the Tourism Monster

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A RECENT report has showed that 40% of homes sold in Gwynedd last year were sold as holiday homes.

And a new development on adjoining Ynys Mon shows how shameless this process actually is by now.

A company called ‘Anglesey Homes’ are quite blatantly selling two new housing developments, one in Llanfaelog and one in Rhosneigr to ‘smart investors’ as holiday homes to let.

The developments (10 flats and 9 townhouses) are touted by the company as ‘very desirable buy to let investments’.

The company’s website makes a mockery of its ‘Anglesey Homes’ title, since there is no reference to the housing needs of the local population at all.

The £389,000 price tag for the townhouses makes that absolutely clear for all to see.

The marketing is in fact geared entirely towards individuals looking at the ‘potential of owning a holiday home’.

Originally, an element of affordable housing was included in these developments, but once that planning application lapsed, a new application was approved with no mention of affordable housing at all.

Questions need to be asked of Ynys Mon Council, why the original clause concerning affordable housing was allowed to disappear so easily.

But the wider question is why do we allow such exploitative use of land and resources in rural Wales, with tourism allowed to have such a tyrannical hold on our communities?

GWLAD, the new nationalist party for Wales, are proposing some radical changes to tame the tourist monster once and for all.

The half-hearted measures and platitudes expressed by all the established parties concerning tourism will not suffice any more.

Therefore, amongst the party’s policies at next year’s Senedd Election will be:

  • A 500% council tax on all holiday homes.
  • A tourist tax per night, similar to the one in place in many other cities and nations in Europe.
  • Limit numbers to environmentally sensitive areas (e.g a permit system for the three national parks)
  • An emphasis on quality serviced accommodation and a phasing out of large caravan sites over time.
  • A new Welsh School of Tourism (similar to the well-regarded New Zealand model) to raise quality and standards within the tourist industry.

Something has definitely shifted here in Wales these past few months.

People are now looking for brand new answers to saturation tourism and all its negative environmental, social and cultural side-effects.

We look forward to taking part in a wide-ranging debate about how to create a new, manageable tourism model for Wales.

 

One thought on “Taming the Tourism Monster

  1. Would Gwlad take part in a deliberative democracy event (lets get a decent cymraeg name for this process) ? to develop creative solutions that allow a warm welcome while controlling tourism, ie domesticating not killing the creature.
    This could well bring hundreds to a zoom meeting, make waves, create publicity for whoever is hosting the event, and show you can trust people to agree on intelligent creative solutions in the light of full information. The format is input from contrasting speakers followed by solutions hatched in break out groups of around 9 people who are representative of the affected population, then sharing conclusions. Possibly discussing the main ideas to reach whole gathering conclusions. DD is a globally growing complement or alternative to our adversarial western democracy model. There is detailed research into 289 major DD processes showing accelerating use on 5 continents. People love them and they generally produce better proposals than government.

    The tourism issue is a perfect candidate for DD. There are strong feelings, vital issues but its not beyond the wit of an intelligent nation to get a tourism sector that benefits Wales.
    We did this successfully with farmers and environmentalists and others in Ceredigion. It felt like a break through for those taking part.

    Personally I think tourism should be the economic jam not the bread and butter, and like the idea of voluntary Welsh passports that commit guests to love and value Wales in practical ways, to belong here. The Llanwrst passport during the Eisteddfod is a model.

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