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A group representing tourism businesses in Caerphilly County Borough has said it is “disappointed” with a decision to remove a ‘key link’ between it and the council.
Caerphilly Tourism Association (CTA), made up of 110 members, had previously been supported by two members of council staff – including a tourism marketing officer.
Staff have responsibility for marketing Caerphilly as a tourism destination, including managing the Visit Caerphilly website and producing an annual Caerphilly visitor guide.
For reasons that have not been made public and without warning, the council has reassigned the person who was the tourism marketing officer to another department.
On October 22, the CTA was told the position would be removed and replaced with a new position.
The move has concerned the group because of the valuable experience the staff member has and which will be lost.
Adrian Cole, Treasurer of the CTA, told Caerphilly Observer: “We are worried about the decision to remove the tourism marketing officer, who has worked effectively with us and businesses throughout the county.
“It has been a brilliant link between businesses and the local authority, especially during the pandemic, and we are disappointed with a decision that was made without consultation or communication.
“We are disappointed that this is the way this has been handled and the council are yet to explain to us why the decision was taken or what it means going forward.”
Why tourism is important for Caerphilly County Borough
Last year, tourism was estimated to be worth around £134 million to the local economy with 1.81 million visitors directly supporting 1,626 jobs.
Caerphilly County Borough Council’s regeneration strategy for 2018 to 2023, entitled A Foundation For Success highlights tourism as a key area for growth.
Part of the strategy sets the aim of establishing the county borough as “a major tourism destination within Cardiff Capital Region and Wales”.
The council said it has no intention of withdrawing its support for the CTA, but that it would not want to comment on staffing arrangements.
In September, a reshuffle of the council’s cabinet saw deputy leader Sean Morgan taking responsibility for tourism in his role as member for economy and enterprise.
It is understood Cllr Morgan will meet with the CTA on Friday, November 27, the first time since the decision to remove the tourism marketing officer was taken.
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