An independent organisation that represents around 600 tourism and hospitality businesses across Mid Wales has co-opted a new director.
Emma Thompson, general manager of Powis Castle, Welshpool, replaces Paul Boland, the National Trust’s general manager for Mid and South East Wales Coast and Countryside, who stood down after many years’ service to MWT Cymru.
She was appointed at MWT Cymru’s annual meeting held at the Royal Welsh Showground, Builth Wells.
A native of Dorset, she has been the National Trust’s general manager at Powis Castle for five years. During her 24-year service to the National Trust, she has worked around the UK, including a spell at Chirk Castle.
“As director of MWT Cymru, I hope to make local connections in Powys between attractions’ management and discover how we can work better together and raise the profile of Mid Wales as a tourist destination,” she said.
“I enjoy living and working in Mid Wales and want to share the region with more people. It’s a great, rural location with a wilderness opportunity for activity holidays and for people to experience the open spaces.
“Mid Wales has a lovely, rural community feel to it whilst also having easy access to the rest of Britain. I love the countryside but also like to go to London to enjoy the culture, museums and attractions that Britain has to offer.”
Powis Castle is one of Mid Wales’ top attractions, welcoming around 150,000 visitors every year but Mrs Thompson believes there is potential for diversification and growth.
“We have a strong, steady business at Powis Castle, but I can see that we have huge potential in the future to grow with the right resources and marketing opportunities,” she said. “Our business can diversify in terms of what we show and how we show it.”
Mrs Thompson, who lives in Llansilin, near Oswestry, is married with two sons, aged seven and nine. Her hobbies include keeping sheep, spinning, knitting and weaving.
MWT Cymru chairman Rowland Rees-Evans welcomed her to the board and said he was pleased that the National Trust connection established by Mr Boland was continuing. He thanked Mr Boland for his long service.
Re-elected as Powys trade directors for three years were Owen James, who owns a four star holiday cottage business in Crickhowell and Greg Loweth, business development manager at the Metropole Hotel, Llandrindod Wells.