Wales’ tourism sector is primed to lead the UK’s post lockdown staycation boom with ‘safe’ and sustainable breaks, according to the CEO of one of the country’s leading sustainable tourism destinations.
More than 13 million people are expected to take UK holidays this year, seeking countryside and coastal areas for safe short breaks.
William McNamara, CEO of Bluestone National Park Resort in Pembrokeshire, West Wales, said communities and local economies throughout Wales would benefit as a result.
Bluestone, which has an emphasis on providing an environmentally sustainable holiday destination, will re-open on Monday offering self-contained holiday accommodation as part of the Welsh Government’s easing of Covid-19 lockdown restrictions. It temporarily closed in December at the start of the current lockdown.
“Tourism has been battered throughout the pandemic. But we can bounce back. Holidaymakers will seek ‘safe’ destinations with plenty of countryside and coastline for their families to enjoy.
“In Pembrokeshire, we have just that. Safe, open areas with plenty of access to the countryside and coastal areas. Most locations are under 30 minutes away from a beach. As a sector we can help our local communities recover.”
According to the Office of National Statistics, more than 13 million people in the UK plan to take a staycation this year as restrictions are lifted. With foreign travel unlikely, a survey by the Co-op found most people will seek luxury staycation holidays.
More and more people are now seeking sustainable short breaks with environmental considerations.
Bluestone has spearheaded this in Wales with an emphasis on nurturing and developing the local environment and habitats of wildlife. Its ethos from day one has been a commitment to the environment and sustainability.
It established a dedicated team to maximise the positive benefits of this and launched its Free Range Future initiative. Enhancing biodiversity and cutting any impact on the environment has been key to that. Reducing the resort’s waste, diverting over 99 per cent of its from landfill, utilising anaerobic digestion for food waste and cutting energy consumption have also made a positive impact.
In addition, employing more than 700 local people, Bluestone is a key part of the West Wales economy. It is also a major customer to local suppliers and businesses, helping support employment and investment in the area.