Plans for a new Neath Port Talbot Council Tourism Unit have been approved by councillors.
In 2016 alone there were 1.47m visitors to the area who ploughed £110m into the local economy – supporting around 1,500 jobs.
The new two person Tourism Unit will now be part of a drive to boost tourist numbers and visitor spending across the whole of the County Borough.
Plans for the new unit had been put out to consultation with the tourism industry within the County Borough and now members of the authority’s Regeneration and Sustainable Development Cabinet Board and Personnel Committee have granted approval.
The Unit will help the Authority concentrate on promoting and ensuring good visitor experiences in its key visitor destinations like the Aberavon Seafront, Waterfall Country, Margam Country Park, the Afan Forest Park, Gnoll Country Park and others, while encouraging the development of new attractions.
A briefing report to the Cabinet Board said:
“We need to ensure we attract and invest in new high profile tourism product developments in particular in our valley areas in order to future-proof out tourism economy markets and attract new visitors.
“We need to position Neath Port Talbot as a place to base a stay in for the whole of South West Wales. This will encourage longer overnight stays than if we were to promote ourselves as a stand-alone destination.”
A Tourism Unit will also enable the council to attract investment in the area and deliver schemes which will benefit the wider regeneration of the county.
The Leader of Neath Port Talbot Council, Cllr Rob Jones, said:
“We have a lot to offer in Neath Port Talbot from our beautiful waterfalls, forested valleys, relaxing country parks, busy towns and villages and our lovely, long stretch of golden sands on the Aberavon Seafront.
“A lot of people already visit but we can do a lot more in terms of attracting overnight stays.”