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Proposals are being invited from the tourism industry for the next round of tourism investment funds, in support of Wales’ thematic years.

First published:
26 October 2018
Last updated:

This was published under the 2016 to 2021 administration of the Welsh Government

Visit Wales is looking for big idea projects which can make a real difference in making Wales a must visit destination.

The Tourism Product Innovation Fund (TPIF) and Regional Tourism Engagement Fund (RTEF) will help the private and public sector work together to develop and deliver innovative destination and product led initiatives that align with the Year of Discovery for 2019 and future thematic years; that reflect all or any of the three key themes for promoting tourism to Wales - adventure, culture and the outdoors. Support will also be available for projects that align with The Wales Way initiative.

For the Year of Discovery the emphasis is on the experiences that people can have in Wales and inviting visitors to explore and discover what makes us uniquely Wales.

Wales’ Year of Discovery will encourage our visitors to discover a new place a new experience or product, a sense of place through language, culture and a local history.

The Swansea Bay Surfari Bus Campaign was funded through the last round of RTEF funding and resulted in hundreds of visitors sampling the delights of Swansea Bay close-up thanks to a 4-week VW Camper Van ‘Surfari’ of Wales and Ireland.

The Surfari Bus embarked on a tour of Wales at the height of the August holiday season, covering 11 destinations in and around Swansea Bay as well as 7 stops in 7 days along the Wales Way. Popular destinations included Brecon, Portmeirion and Llandudno. The final Surfari Bus stops were two busy shopping centres in Dublin and Kilkenny, Ireland.

The journey helped promote Swansea Bay’s ‘Year of the Sea’ destination marketing campaign achieving coverage in local media along the way and securing several visits by journalists and bloggers this autumn.

Robert Francis-Davies, Cabinet Member for Innovation, Regeneration and Tourism, said the summer Surfari campaign was a unique opportunity to introduce families already on holiday to even more things to see and do in Swansea Bay and those further afield to taking a holiday or short break.

He said: 

“While our team were taking the show on the road, it was the support of Swansea, Mumbles and Gower tourism businesses that made it such a success.

“They enthusiastically supported us by providing free activities and offering competition prizes so that visitors to the Surfari Bus had the chance to come and sample activities in Swansea Bay for themselves.”

Minister for Culture, Tourism and Sport, Lord Elis-Thomas, said: 

“Over the last 3 years, we’ve seen how this revenue funding has enabled the industry to come to together, work in partnership and deliver projects which have greater impact in a very competitive market-place. As we now turn our focus to Year of Discovery we would like to see even bigger ideas and strategic partnerships developing. We will be prioritising our investment in proposals that evidence genuine regional collaboration and are able to promote the commitment to inclusive growth set out in our Economic Action Plan.”

“Adventure, culture and landscape represent Wales’s core strengths and areas where we believe Wales can be truly competitive. We want to return to them, and The Year of Discovery and future years will look to and strengthen these core themes.”

Both the Tourism Product Innovation Fund (TPIF) and Regional Tourism Engagement Fund (RTEF) are supported through the Welsh Government Rural Communities Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD), and Welsh Government.