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Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 April 2006, 15:31 GMT 16:31 UK
Minister unveils tourism vision
Andrew Davies at the Waterfront Museum, Swansea
Mr Davies said it was "appropriate to take stock" of the tourism industry
A seven-year strategy for tourism in Wales has been set out by the assembly economic development minister.

Andrew Davies set out the future direction for the 3bn a year industry, just over a week after the Wales Tourist Board was brought under assembly government control.

Mr Davies said he wanted to focus on places of "excellence" and activities.

He said he hoped, walking, mountain biking, sailing and "quality" attractions would bring in tourists.

The tourism initiative was launched at Swansea's Waterfront Museum on Tuesday.


Since it was opened last October by First Minister Rhodri Morgan, 90,000 people have visited the 33.5m attraction.

Mr Davies said of the initiative: "It's focusing on places of real quality and excellence such as this museum.

"Opening up new opportunities particularly in activity holidays mountain biking, sailing and walking - in areas where Wales has a distinctive advantage."

He added the industry was "more focused on exploiting those advantages and that potential".

One of the managers of a privately-owned recreation centre in Denbighshire said he would welcome any investment in outdoor activities.

Ian Owen from Coed Llandegla Forest near Wrexham said he had given up his job to be a part of the initiative which has over 35 kilometres of biking and walking trails.


"To create the building and the trails which we've got here - it's taken over a million pounds so far."

Mr Owen said he thought Wales was the best country for mountain biking.

"The cycle centres in Wales need to get together, work together and promote themselves more," he added.

During the launch Mr Davies said that the five key challenges for tourism in Wales were branding, quality, accessibility, skills and partnership.

He said: "At the beginning of the holiday season in Wales it's appropriate for us to take stock and look to how the industry needs to develop to maintain a competitive edge in the market place".

He added that initial surveys found that three quarters of those in the industry were confident about the new season.

On 1 April, three quangos and their 1,500 staff were absorbed into the assembly government in the so-called "bonfire of the quangos".

The Welsh Development Agency and Wales Tourist Board came under control of the new Department of Enterprise, Innovation and Networks.

Watch Andrew Davies' plans for tourism in Wales

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