A NUMBER of visitor accommodation businesses in Swansea are benefitting from funding to improve their facilities as the important spring and summer seasons edge ever closer.
The funding, which is part of Swansea Council’s £25m economic recovery fund, is one of a package of measures aimed at supporting the city’s tourism sector throughout 2022 and beyond.
Among the businesses to have benefited from the tourism support fund is Clyne Valley Cottages, where the Keeper’s Cottage and adjoining Barn Owl Cottage have been refurbished.
The funding has also helped Tir Cethin Farm in Three Crosses with the purchase and installation of Scandinavian-style hot tubs for their guests to enjoy all year-round.
Other successful projects supported by this fund include accessibility improvements for disabled visitors and upgrading facilities to attract customers outside the busy summer season.
Further council support for the tourism sector includes on-demand videos showcasing Swansea Bay via Sky TV AdSmart. Running until mid-April, this is part of a Swansea Bay spring marketing campaign that will also include a cross-platform TikTok and Instagram campaign aimed at 18 to 34-year-olds.
An outdoor marketing campaign with Visit Swansea Bay digital advertising at key transport hubs across London and other major UK cities is also on-going until March 20. Other campaign work includes 200,000 copies of a new Swansea Bay guide for 2022 being distributed throughout the destination and to key locations like service stations along the M4, M5 and M42.
A nature and wildlife campaign featuring TV presenter Iolo Williams will also launch in April. Aimed at promoting the importance of the Swansea Bay great outdoors to people’s health and well-being, the campaign will also highlight the importance of sustainable tourism, while encouraging people to respect their environment.
Cllr Robert Francis-Davies, Swansea Council’s Cabinet Member for Investment, Regeneration and Tourism, said:
“Tourism has been among the hardest hit sectors throughout the pandemic, so we’re determined to continue to support our tourism businesses as we emerge from the pandemic and beyond.
“The package of support that’s in place will help raise the profile of Swansea Bay as a visitor destination to millions of people throughout the UK and further afield, while also helping many of our tourism businesses cover the costs of facilities that will further improve the visitor experience they provide.
“We very much recognise how important the spring season is for our tourism businesses, with a good spring often acting as a springboard for a good summer in terms of visitor numbers and spend.
“The Visit Swansea Bay spring marketing campaign will build on everything else the council has already done this year to support our tourism sector. This follows on from other support the council has provided since the onset of the pandemic, including the waiving of fees so tourism and hospitality businesses can continue to feature on the official Visit Swansea Bay destination website at no cost until March 2023.”
The tourism support fund provides grants of up to £8,000 to support the recovery of accommodation micro-businesses based in rural or semi-rural parts of Swansea.
Geoff Haden, of Clyne Valley Cottages, said:
“The tourism support fund grant from the council has been the catalyst for doing more upgrade work than we had planned, while enabling us to carry out the work to a higher standard than we anticipated.
“We’re in confident mood for the season ahead, with bookings having really picked up over the last month so. This bodes well for the summer season, and we’re also excited about the extra visitors attractions like the new Swansea Arena could generate for businesses like ours.”
Paul Cross, of Tir Cethin Farm, added:
“We’re always asking ourselves what we’re not doing as a business to keep on improving the visitor experience we provide.
“The Scandinavian-style hot tubs fit in with everything we do as an environmentally conscious, sustainable business. They had been on our minds for some time but then the challenges of the pandemic hit.
“We really appreciate the support from the council as the grant has enabled us to invest in facilities that meet the needs of our customers.”
A mini-campaign also took place in February to promote Swansea Bay’s dark skies offering. This included videos of Cefn Bryn, Port Eynon and Three Cliffs Bay. A dog friendly holidays campaign is on-going too, with a new video having already generated over 20,000 views on YouTube since its launch early last month.
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