Tourism is devolved in Wales. The Welsh Government has powers to encourage and support the tourist industry in Wales by providing guidance and advice to tourist businesses, as well as capital funding through the tourism investment support scheme. The Assembly can pass Assembly Acts relating to tourism.
Visit Wales / Croeso Cymru is part of the Welsh Government, which has taken over the functions of the former Wales Tourist Board. Visit Wales / Croeso Cymru supports the Welsh tourism industry, aims to improve tourism in Wales and provides the framework within which tourist businesses can operate.
The principal Acts governing tourism are:
The Development of Tourism Act 1969 established the English Tourist Board. In 2005 the Board’s functions in relation to Wales were transferred to the National Assembly for Wales (see SI 2005/3225) and subsequently to the Welsh Ministers under the Government of Wales Act 2006 (para 30 of schedule 11). These include powers to:
- encourage people to visit Wales, and encourage people living in Wales to take their holidays here,
- encourage the provision and improvement of tourist amenities and facilities in Wales,
- provide financial assistance for the carrying out of projects which provide or improve tourist amenities and to carry out such projects,
- advise any public body on matters relating to tourism in Wales.
For the purposes of carrying out the above powers the Welsh Ministers also have the power to:
- promote or undertake publicity,
- provide advisory and information services,
- promote and undertake research,
- establish committees to advise them in the performance of their functions,
- contribute to or reimburse expenditure incurred by others on publicity, information and advisory services and research.
The Tourism (Oversees Promotion)(Wales) Act 1992 supplemented the 1969 Act by providing that the powers under the 1969 Act include the power to carry on any activities outside the United Kingdom in order to encourage people to visit Wales.