Agenda item

Tourism promotion and destination management


That the Committee endorse the current and emerging approaches to visitor promotion and destination management.


            The Service Manager (Enterprise and Regeneration) introduced the Tourism Promotion and Destination Management report which set out the approaches taken in Flintshire and regionally to support the visitor economy through promotional activity and managing and improving the customer experience. 


            The report detailed the work of both the Access and Natural Environment and Tourism services as both played a significant and co-ordinated role with opportunities for greater collaborative working in the future following the recent restructure.


            Councillor Shotton thanked officers for the report and commented on the tourism offer in Flintshire which had been seen first-hand by the Committee at its recent meeting held at Greenfield Heritage Centre.  He commented on the recent introduction of talks and boat trips by the Quay Watermen and praised the work of the County Rangers along the coastal path. 


            Councillor Vicky Perfect thanked the Service Manager (Access and Environment) and his team for installing new benches along the coastal path near Flint Castle.  She commented on the successful Rock the Castle event in Flint which had been attended by 2,000 people and thanked the Coastal Rangers for their contribution and for judging the sandcastle competition. 


            Councillor Dolphin thanked the Service Manager (Access and Environment) and his team for their hard work.  He asked when a visitor sign could be installed on the A55 to promote St. Winifred’s Well and surrounding areas.  The Service Manager (Enterprise and Regeneration) advised that the Council provided brown and white signs and a review was currently being undertaken to identify where there were gaps across the County.  There was a need to be mindful of available funding but when money became available from the Welsh Government (WG) the Council would be in a position to submit requests for funding by having appropriate plans in place.


            The Cabinet Member for Economic Development said that there was a need to change attitudes about Flintshire.  He said that 80% of Flintshire was rural but this had not been recognised through the availability of European funding.  It was hoped that this would be addressed through the North Wales Growth Bid and although the visitor economy in Flintshire was a relatively small component of the Flintshire economy, it remained an important contributor which generated an estimated £252m each year.


            On the North Wales Growth Bid, the Leader of the Council said that Flintshire would be able to take advantage of the capital investment opportunities at Holyhead in terms of Cruise Ships and excursions within a 1 hour radius.  He reported that across North Wales the number of Japanese visitors had increased 84% and whilst Flintshire had many attractions, accommodation in the areas was not at the same level as was found in Cornwall or the Lake District.           


            Councillor Legg commented on Halkyn Mountain and thanked officers for their hard work in maintaining the mountain.  He said that signage was important, especially for toilet facilities as this could be problematic for some visitors.  He commented on the need to protect common land due to its geology, flora and industrial history and raised concerns of motorised vehicles on common land.  He said that he was happy to carry out a tour of Halkyn Mountain for any Members who were interested.         


            In response to a suggestion from the Cabinet Member for Streetscene and Countryside that Councillor Legg should be a Tourist Ambassador, the Service Manager (Enterprise and Regeneration) explained that there were 30 Tourist Ambassadors across Flintshire who were predominantly business representatives.  They had signed up to a set of principles to welcome visitors to the area.


            Councillor Evans questioned the figure of 2.7m day visits to Flintshire, as detailed in the report.  He asked what methodology was used to calculate day visits and asked if further information on this could be provided to the Committee following the meeting.  He felt that the Council was missing an opportunity by not encouraging cafes and public houses along the coastal path, similar to the ones found at Burton Marsh.  The Service Manager (Enterprise and Regeneration) responded that visitor numbers were calculated through the STEAM Model.  This model was used across Wales and the latest report could be shared with the Committee.  He also reported that a project including Sustrans was looking to link Flint and Connah’s Quay coastal cycle routes and increasing visitor numbers.


            Councillor Haydn Bateman reported that he had recently been approached by visitors to Talacre Beach who had been disappointed with the amount of litter in the area and had commented that the bins had been overflowing.  He also asked if works were progressing to improve the lighthouse at Talacre Beach.  The Service Manager (Access and Environment) said that there was a balance in attracting people to an area but there was always a danger that those areas could be spoilt.  He added that it was appropriate to ensure maintenance and management of an area to ensure it was resilient to take additional footfall.  He advised that the lighthouse and Talacre Beach was under private ownership and the current owner had been addressing structural works inside the building before moving on to renovate the outside. 


            The Service Manager (Access and Environment) thanked Members for their kind words which he said he would pass on the rangers and tourism officers following the meeting. 




That the Committee endorse the current and emerging approaches to visitor promotion and destination management.

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