At the tail end of yet another wet summer there is a need to contemplate its effect on the local economy and suggest a course of action to take. Hoteliers in Ceredigion have already commented earlier this year that bookings are down as a direct consequence of the wet weather. This is not good news for the tourism industry as a whole which is so important to coastal Ceredigion and its hinterland. We need some good weather to bring in visitors particularly around the late summer Bank Holiday which traditionally has the greatest economic impact in Ceredigion. If as a result of climate change the weather will get increasingly uncertain then we need alternative local wet weather solutions to maintain the tourist economy. There is a need to develop an infrastructure of activity facilities that caters for the day visitor and those in local accommodation during periods of wet weather. The exiting developments by Cadwgan at Cardigan Castle are one example; Cardigan Island Coastal Farm Park is another but we need to include more indoor attractions in our tourism portfolio to complement present outdoor activities on the river, in the hills, on the sea shore; theme parks; boat trips and the coastal path to name just a few. All should be attractive to the seaside visitor who seeks an alternative. Pembrokeshire has such an infrastructure in place, Ceredigion should do the same. As part of the consultation process on the Local Development Plan it is important that the effects of climate change on the local economy be taken on board and policies formed that allow the development of this economic sector. Now is the time to open the debate and set a challenge for the County Council and participating bodies responsible for maintaining and developing the local tourism economy.
Penri James Ymgeisydd Seneddol San Steffan Plaid Cymru Ceredigion Westminster Parliamentary Candidate Plaid Cymru Ceredigion