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Visit the ‘Real Mid Wales’

Created on 15/11/2017 @ 09:38
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A fresh, modern marketing campaign focused on social media is set to put the ‘Real Mid Wales’ on the map to visitors from across the UK. 

The campaign was unveiled at the sold out annual Mid Wales Tourism and Business Conference which was attended by 130 guests at The Metropole Hotel, Llandrindod Wells.

The conference, themed ‘Marketing the Real Mid Wales: A Shared Vision’, was sponsored by NFU Mutual and organised by MWT Cymru, an independent organisation that represents around 600 tourism and hospitality businesses across the region.

MWT Cymru chief executive Val Hawkins and chairman Rowland Rees-Evans encouraged businesses and organisations involved in the tourism industry in the region to work together to promote the ‘Real Mid Wales’ message.

The campaign will focus on the environment and nature, adventure and sport, health and wellbeing and transport routes.

“Those of us fortunate to live in this beautiful part of the country all have our own ideas about what makes the ‘Real Mid Wales’ so special,” said Mr Rees-Evans. 

“The challenge for tourism and hospitality businesses is how best to share our enthusiasm to attract visitors.

“With public sector funding under pressure, is it time for the industry to combine resources and collaborate on a concerted campaign to market the Real Mid Wales to target audiences?

“This conference should help to focus all our thoughts on a shared goal: to attract more visitors and investment to Mid Wales.”

Mrs Hawkins said the new marketing campaign would focus on raising visitor awareness about what makes the ‘Real Mid Wales’ special. It would be aimed specifically at the 20 million UK people in the 27-40 age group.

“We have an opportunity to really put Mid Wales on the map and develop new content in a fresh, modern style,” she added.

Keynote speakers were Welsh naturalist and broadcaster Iolo Williams, Visit Cornwall’s chief executive, Malcolm Bell, Mid Wales Regional Tourism Forum chair Steve Hughson, Visit Britain liaison officer Lowri Jones, NFU Mutual hospitality sector specialist Graeme Taylor and Kashing chief executive and co-founder Karen Rossouw.

During his presentation, Mr Williams introduced delegates to a selection of the rare birds, animals, plants, woodland, insects, dolphins and lichens that live in Mid Wales and attract many visitors every year.

He welcomed the possibility of beavers being reintroduced to Wales and said they would be another popular attraction. However, he warned that the UK had lost 44 million birds since the 1970s and he was critical that wildlife and the environment continued to suffer in Wales from reduced government funding.

Mr Hughson, chief executive of the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society, encouraged tourism businesses to capitalise on the major events held in Mid Wales, such as the Royal Welsh Show, which attracts 240,000 visitors and contributes £20 million to the economy. The average distance travelled by a person attending the show was 138 miles.

“What the Royal Welsh Show does is pull the ‘Real Mid Wales’ together in one place,” he added. “Forty per cent of the people that come to the show are from a non-agricultural background and we are in the entertainment business.

“There is a real cross over between agriculture and tourism and it’s key that we work together. We need to grasp the opportunities that we have on our doorstep to create lasting memories and experiences.”

PICTURE: Speakers, officials and sponsors at the Mid Wales Tourism and Business Conference.

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