Friday, 1 March 2013
Looking forward to 2020
We are also promised an annual action plan and a focus on key overseas markets which are taken to be Germany and the USA, and, surprisingly, Ireland. In the early years of our business I made many attempts to do business in Ireland. After all, it is the place next door and it has good ferry links and it looked like a rich country. However, I soon realised that the airport links from Ireland to the Rest Of The World were brilliant as the Celtic Tiger had built airport after airport. The Irish and the Welsh countryside and climate are remarkably similar, and there was simply no tradition of going to Wales as a destination for holidays. I attended a number of Visit Wales promotional visits and the Outdoor Ireland exhibition in Dublin. I even did a deal with a local Irish newspaper to sponsor a reader offer of a walking weekend in Beddgelert at the Royal Goat. Nothing seemed to sell, even when the Irish had money. Now they clearly haven't (following the property crash, the banking collapse and the virtual bankruptcy of the Irish Government) it is going to be even more difficult.
However, we will be working in partnership with Visit Wales and we are working on a scheme to bring German walking tour operators to Wales this spring.