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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet Meeting: 24 February, 2014

 

Report of the Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Innovation, Planning and Transportation

 

Regional Engagement and Partnership Structures in the Tourism Sector

 

Purpose of the Report

1.         To report the receipt of the consultation document 'Regional Engagement and Partnership Structures in the Tourism Sector' issued by Welsh Government. The document is attached at Appendix 1.

2.         To approve the Vale of Glamorgan Council response to the consultation as set out in  Appendix 2.

Recommendations

1.         That Cabinet notes the consultation document as attached at Appendix 1 and approves the suggested response as set out in Appendix 2.

2.         That the urgent decision procedure as set out in article 13.09 of the Council's Constitution be used in view of the need to respond to Welsh Government by Friday 27th February 2014.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.         To enable the Council to submit a formal response to the consultation by the given date of 27th February 2014.

2.         To allow the Council's response to be submitted within the timescale.

 

Background

3.         In June 2013, 'Partnership for Growth: The Welsh Government Strategy for Tourism 2013-2020' was launched by Edwina Hart, Minister for the Economy, Transport and Science.

4.         The Minister established a Tourism Sector Panel in September 2011 and asked them to lead the development of a new strategy and direction for the sector.  The strategy represents the results of the work which has involved a process of research and analysis, evaluation of options and engagement with the tourism industry.

5.         The consultation document entitled 'Regional Engagement and Partnership Structures, in the Tourism Sector' was issued on 5th December 2013 and seeks a response by 27th February.  The consultation is seeking views on what regional engagement and partnership structure would work best in Wales.  The consultation document makes it clear that the aim is to support the effective implementation of the Welsh Government Strategy for Tourism by minimising duplication of representation, resources and effort.

6.         It is recognised within the Welsh Government Strategy for Tourism that 'A realignment of structures may be required within Visit Wales and the industry to facilitate partnership working and support more effective delivery of programmes and projects.'

7.         Welsh Government regional engagement with the tourism sector is currently through four Regional Tourism Partnerships (RTPs) to cover four regions: North Wales, Mid Wales, South West Wales and South East Wales.  The RTPs work with Visit Wales, Local Authorities, businesses and other organisations to deliver a range of marketing, product investment and business support activities to the tourism sector in Wales.

8.         Collectively the RTPs receive core funding of £2.5 million per annum, of which South East Wales receives around one quarter.  This represents approximately 15 per cent of the Welsh Government tourism budget.   

9.         The Welsh Government is seeking opinion as to whether the most effective regional structures are in place to engage with all tourism sector interest at the regional level and to deliver the ambition of the strategy to 'grow tourism earnings in Wales by 10% or more by 2020'.

10.      The aim is to minimise duplication of representation, resources and effort and re-energise the sector with a fresh collaborative approach.

11.      Five options being considered are:

·               Do nothing - continue with the current structure of regional engagement.

·               Establish a regional engagement team within Visit Wales to replace RTPs.

·               Procure services by competitive tender, for regional engagement.

·               Develop a new regional engagement model that aligns with emerging regional economic development initiatives and procure specified services by competitive tender.

·               Discontinue funding the RTPs while continuing to encourage and support effective local partnerships within the sector.

12.      In addition, a total of five consultation questions are asked as follows:-

1. How do you think the Welsh Government should make best use of resources to support tourism across Wales?

2. In your opinion, which of the above options would best support delivery of the strategy?

3. Why do you think this is the best option?

4. What do you think should be the priorities for supporting tourism at a regional level in the future?

5. How could a new structure align effectively with emerging regional economic development initiatives?

13.      The response of this Council is set out in Appendix 2 and refers to the need to align regional working to existing models to avoid unnecessary duplication but also to ensure synergies are made between investment, regeneration and economic development and transport.  In addition the suggested response makes reference to the important role of the Vale of Glamorgan in the South East Wales region and uses the regeneration scheme at Barry Island as a case study to demonstrate links between tourism and regeneration.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

14.      There are no financial implications as a result of this report and responding to this consultation is being met from within departmental budgets.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

15.      There are no sustainability or climate change implication in responding, although supporting a growing tourism industry requires a consideration of transport, development and financial issues, all of which have a bearing on sustainability.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

16.      There are no legal issues arising from the report.

Crime and Disorder Implications

17.      There are no crime and disorder implications as a consequence of this report.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

18.      There are no Equality Impact Assessment implications as a result of this report.

Corporate/Service Objectives

19.      The report links with the corporate objective of regeneration.

Policy Framework and Budget

20.      This is a matter for Executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

21.      None applicable as this affects all wards.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

22.      Economy and Environment.

Background Papers

Appendix 1: Consultation Document 'Regional Engagement and Partnership Structures in the Tourism Sector.

 

Appendix 2: Vale of Glamorgan response to consultation

 

Contact Officer

Claire Evans, Tourism and Marketing Manager

 

Officers Consulted

Operational Manager, Leisure and Tourism

Legal (committee reports)

 

Responsible Officer:

Rob Thomas, Director of Development Services

 

 

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