Caerphilly County Borough has ranked 16th out of 22 Welsh councils in the amount of tourism cash it pulls in.
A report by VisitBritain published last week revealed the county borough brought in £2m from overseas visitors in 2009. Cardiff topped the league with a whopping £115m.
Labour AM Jeff Cuthbert has called for more action by Caerphilly County Borough Council to boost tourism.
He said: “I think Caerphilly County Borough Council is missing a trick here. In Caerphilly we have the second largest castle in Britain, while we have the impressive sixteenth century manor house at Llancaiach Fawr near Nelson.
“We also have many more lesser-known that are a little bit more off the beaten track – I’m thinking of Ruperra Castle near Machen; Gelligaer Common; Parc Penallta in Ystrad Mynach; and the eerie setting of Eglwysilan on the ridge above Senghenydd.
“Of course we also host the Big Cheese Festival every year – an event that pulls in more visitors than the National Eisteddfod.
“So it remains a mystery as to why Caerphilly is so low down the table in terms of tourist income. I would urge the Council to do more to attract visitors to Caerphilly so that they can appreciate all it has to offer.”
Plaid Cymru’s Lindsay Whittle, who is the leader of Caerphilly County Borough Council, said he was surprised by the area’s tourism ranking and hit back at Mr Cuthbert.
He said: “If he is saying more could be done with the castle then he is attacking himself as it’s run by Cadw.
“If he wants to persuade the National Assembly and Cadw to give the castle to the council that would be great because we could do something with it.
“The council cannot force people to spend money in Caerphilly. We have the best tourist association in Wales and we are just about doing all we can in that department.”