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Mid-Wales Tourism Industry Leaders Say ‘No’ to Possible New Tax

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Suggestions of a new Welsh Government tourism levy have met with instant opposition from the industry in Mid -Wales.

The Welsh Government Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford has appealed for people and organisations to come forward with ideas which could be developed into new Welsh taxes.

A possible tourism levy is one of the ideas put forward by the Bevan Foundation, a Valleys think tank but no further details have emerged about whether it will be paid by businesses or visitors.

However, the idea attracted a blunt response from the tourism industry. Val Hawkins, chief executive of MWT Cymru, an independent organisation that represents 600 tourism and hospitality businesses in Mid Wales.

She said:

“The last thing we need at the moment is a tourism tax.”

That view is shared by Tony Bywater, chairman of caravan and motorhome dealership Salop Leisure, which has sales centres in Shrewsbury, Machynlleth and Stourport-on- Severn.

He said:

“Tourism businesses are already taxed heavily and a new tax would make Wales more expensive to visitors.”

Mrs Hawkins said tourism businesses had enough to contend with following the Brexit vote, minimum wage, zero hours contracts and higher business rates.

“If inflation starts to rise, people are going to have less money to spend on short breaks in our region,” she warned. “The tourism sector needs more income to help regions like Mid Wales and I don’t think any new tax should be coming out of the businesses.”

Mr Bywater said caravan park owners in Mid Wales already paid VAT on rates and pitch rental and an additional tax would be too much.

“The industry is taxed heavily already and we are not competitive with the rest of the world,” he added. “A new tax would make Wales more expensive to visitors and we, as a company, are trying to keep our costs sensible and competitive.”

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Duncan Foulkes Public Relations Limited is a well established communications consultancy based in beautiful Mid Wales.

Incorporating public and media relations, the consultancy provides a range of services to businesses and organisations throughout Wales and the Marches.

A former newspaper journalist for 24 years, Duncan moved into PR in 1999 after editing the County Times & Express & Gazette newspapers – the main weekly titles in Mid Wales – for five years.

His main reason for leaving the newspaper industry was a desire for a new career challenge. His successful PR business predominantly focuses on companies based in Wales and Shropshire.

His motto is to keep things as simple as possible to avoid over-complicating what is a straightforward goal – to achieve media coverage for a client.

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He has extensive PR experience of the food and drink, education and training, catering and hospitality, insurance and financial services, manufacturing, tourism, farming, property, fine art, lubricants and telematics sectors.

His contacts extend from local newspapers in Wales to the national print and broadcast media, trade publications and digital media.

Duncan Foulkes PR uses only the most creative photographers, ensuring that photography to support his work is of the highest quality.

He is passionate about issues relating to the countryside and enjoys fly fishing, watching sport and spending time with his family in his spare time.

Services provided:

Public Relations
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