Close to 200 tourism businesses in Swansea are now being given a helping hand to raise their profile across the UK and beyond, thanks to free marketing support.
An £80,000 Swansea Council scheme means that fees will be waived again – for the third year – so tourism and hospitality businesses can continue to feature on the official Visit Swansea Bay destination website at no cost until March 2023.
These businesses can also benefit from a series of marketing campaigns designed to encourage new visitors to Swansea, Mumbles and Gower.
It’s one of many schemes being funded by the council’s £25 million Economic Recovery Fund to support businesses and communities throughout Swansea to help them recover from the economic impact of the pandemic.
Swansea Council has also offered tourism businesses the opportunity to improve their visitor offer with a Tourism Support Fund launched in October. This fund is now fully committed after a very positive response from local operators who wished to enhance their business in order to be able to attract more visitors.
Cllr Robert Francis-Davies, Swansea Council’s Cabinet Member for Investment, Regeneration and Tourism, said:
“Tourism makes a significant contribution to Swansea’s economy, so we’re determined to do all we can to support the sector during the extremely challenging times of the pandemic.
“Since we first waived fees at the beginning of the pandemic for tourism businesses to feature on visitswanseabay.com, over 70 additional businesses have signed up for the service. This means close to 200 tourism businesses are now benefitting from not just more exposure but also inclusion in our year-long destination marketing campaigns, including new social media and video on demand TV advertising referring back to the website for more information.
“Figures show the Visit Swansea Bay website generates many millions of views a year, so this presents a great opportunity for tourism businesses to further raise their profile as we head towards the critically important Easter and summer seasons for the tourism sector.”
Businesses benefitting from the website fee waiving include the El Pescador Restaurant and Bar on Trawler Road, as well as the King Arthur Hotel in Reynoldston, Gower.
Carly Shapton, of the King Arthur Hotel, said:
“Given the impact coronavirus has had on hospitality since March 2020, the support from Swansea Council through waiving the Visit Swansea Bay partnership fees has been very much appreciated.
“The weekly email updates, press and journalist visits, and in particular the ‘late availability' section on the Visit Swansea Bay website, have been very useful. This has given our business an extra boost during what have been a difficult few years.”
Swansea Council has now committed more than £13.6 million to more than 50 projects as part of its Economic Recovery Fund. Other schemes covered by the fund include free bus travel initiatives, the provision of free outside public space use for businesses to expand, and the installation of extra Christmas lights in the city centre over the festive period.
Also covered by the fund is a new Energy Awareness Hub on Nelson Street. Commissioned by the council and run by the Environment Centre, the hub aims to help local people cut their fuel bills by providing free, accessible and independent support.