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Wales Activity Tourism Organisation. Pete Bursnall Chair W.A.T.O. What are we?!.

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Wales Activity Tourism Organisation

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Wales Activity Tourism Organisation

Pete Bursnall

Chair W.A.T.O.

What are we?!

WATO is a forum that is being piloted to link existing organisations in Wales’s National Parks, with the aim of sharing best practice across the outdoor sector. WATO functions regionally through Snowdonia-Active, Brecon Beacons Tourism & the South Wales Activity Provider’s Group and the Pembrokeshire Outdoor Charter.

Our overall objective is to improve the delivery of Activity Tourism, thereby leading to increased business for the sector.

“The National Parks are all very different and there is an obvious opportunity for each region to learn from the other, while respecting regional diversity” Chris Wright.

Who are we?

  • Brecon Beacons Tourism - Punch Maughan

  • Pembrokeshire Outdoor Charter Group - Tom Luddington

  • Snowdonia-Active - Chris Wright

  • South Wales Outdoor Activity Provider’s Group - Gary Evans

  • Visit Wales - Jim Embrey

Where are we?

How are we?

Visit Wales (VW) is sponsoring the forum, following on from a series of Activity Tourism Roadshows held by VW in 2009.

Our budget is presently £12,000 split equally between the organisations and the Chair. This funding runs until April 2011.

Discussions are presently ongoing about how best to fund the organisation beyond that…

What are we not?

  • A National Governing Body (NGB)

  • A marketing organisation

  • A provider

So what about that VW / WATO relationship?

  • Migration of Activity Businesses onto the VW website

  • Review of VW images and their appropriateness

  • Addition of ‘Wildlife Tourism’ tab on VW website

  • Advising VW on the future of Activity Licensing

  • Creating strong lines of communication between the sector and VW

  • Engagement with VW marketing

    • More marketing of Outdoor Events

    • Sensitivity of marketing

This means you…

So what have the member organisations been up to?

  • Taking on the mines and tunnels inspection schemes for our members

  • Concluding negotiations with Welsh Water for trial access to four reservoirs for the first time in 20yrs

  • Developing and leading the Sychryd Gorge concordat with FCW

  • Delivery of Gorge Walking & Environmental Awareness workshops

  • Group meeting re the future of Activity Licensing

  • Raising awareness of outdoor activities among accommodation providers

Spreading the word…

In addition to the organisations already mentioned the members sit on or chair numerous other groups with the aim of informing those groups and their spheres of influence about Activity Tourism. These include,

  • FERAC - Fisheries, Ecology & Recreation Advisory Committee

  • NSCWG - National Safety Coasteering Working Group, to become the National Coasteering Advisory Group

  • Pembrokeshire Tourism - Director representing activities

  • TAP - Tourism Advisory Panel to the Minister for Heritage

  • STF, Sustainable Tourism Forum for VW

  • ST&T - Sustainable Transport & Tourism for WAG

  • WTA - Wales Tourism Alliance Executive

Wales Activity Tourism Organisation

Pete Bursnall

Chair W.A.T.O.

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