17 February 2020
Are you a farmer or forester who wants to add value to your business and turn your dreams for a new tourism venture into reality?
Some of Wales’ most successful farm business owners, who are already tapping into our lucrative tourism industry, will share their knowledge and first hand experiences at a series of three Farming Connect seminars later this month.
Each of the two-hour evening events will have its own line-up of expert farm business people who will share their tips for setting up or expanding a successful farm diversification enterprise. They will be joined by invited rural and marketing experts, together with some of Farming Connect’s specialist mentors, who provide eligible businesses with fully funded one-to-one mentoring on diversification projects.
One of the guest speakers is mid Wales farmer Llion Pughe, co-founder of ‘Best of Wales’, a burgeoning four and five star holiday letting agency which started out from the family farm kitchen just outside Machynlleth in 2009. Armed with a master’s degree in entrepreneurship, this young businessman and his business partner, who began by letting out just 33 properties, have now joined forces with a major online holiday lettings company. The company lets out more than 400 properties, ranging from unique glamping units to city apartments and from traditional farmhouses to coastal cottages. Llion believes that the tourism industry could hold the key to increased profitability for many rural businesses in Wales.
“I hope that these events will inspire those who attend and give them the confidence and vision to capitalise on the rich resources we have all around us in Wales.
“We live in a relatively small country, which means our visitors are never far from the wealth of amazing mountains, spectacular landscapes which stretch for miles, historic castles and a truly fabulous coastline which includes many spectacular seaside resorts as well as tiny unspoilt fishing coves.
“We need to identify the opportunities that we can offer walkers, cyclists, artists, riders, fishing and wildlife enthusiasts, birdwatchers, caravanners and campers, food and drink lovers – the appeal is almost endless for both individuals and families, and we can turn these attractions into new streams of income,” said Llion.
Farming Connect’s three evening tourism seminars will be held between 19:30 and 21:30 on 24 February at M-Sparc, Gaerwen, Anglesey; 25 February at The Castle Hotel, Llandovery and 26 February at the Elephant & Castle, Newtown.
“Research has shown that more than 4.8 million visitors from the UK spent at least one night in Wales during the first six months of 2019, generating a total spend of £880 million (Welsh Government statistics).
“Even if you start on a small or modest scale, taking an evening off to attend one of these tourism seminars and finding out what support is available will help you identify ways in which you can capitalise on the opportunities available and get your business included on the tourist trail,” said Llion.
Farming Connect is delivered by Menter a Busnes and Lantra Wales and funded by the Welsh Government and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.
Farming Connect, which is delivered by Menter a Busnes and Lantra, has received funding through the Welsh Government Rural Communities - Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.