Dawn Bowden MS, Deputy Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism
The visitor economy is an important part of the wider Welsh economy, supporting tens of thousands of jobs across the country and bringing in tens of millions of pounds every year.
It is rapidly changing with the growth of online booking platforms and new entrants to the market. This has brought benefits, such as new routes to market and increased consumer choice, but concerns have also been raised about compliance with certain requirements, which accommodation providers should already be adhering to in order to operate.
As part of our ongoing work to ensure we have thriving and vibrant communities all year round throughout Wales and the actions we are taking to develop sustainable tourism, we are committed to introducing a statutory licensing scheme for all visitor accommodation. This will also help secure a sustainable visitor economy in thriving local communities.
This work is being undertaken as part of the Co-operation Agreement with Plaid Cymru.
We undertook a public consultation about how a licensing scheme could work. This closed on 17 March with more than 1,500 responses. An independent analysis of the responses was commissioned in April, and I am today publishing the findings.
To supplement the main consultation, three engagement sessions were held across Wales in May. These gave key stakeholders from the tourism industry an opportunity to share their views on specific technical aspects of the proposed scheme. A report of the representations made is published alongside the consultation analysis.
I am grateful to everyone who took the time to respond and give their feedback. We will reflect on the findings from these reports. We will continue to collect views and evidence from the sector and stakeholders and from prospective visitors and communities. I will provide an update later in the year setting our proposals for how we intend to take the scheme forward.