Welsh National Marine Plan (WNMP): Tourism and recreation

yachts and motorboat at sea

WNMP sector objective

To contribute to sustainable development by protecting and promoting access to the coast and improving the quality of the visitor experience thereby increasing Wales’ reputation as a world class sustainable marine tourism and recreation destination.

What is the tourism and recreation sector

Recreation means free-time leisure activities largely undertaken in the local environment. Tourism means activities, services and infrastructure associated with visitors and holidaymakers. Tourism activities can also be recreational in nature. The WNMP recognises that tourism and recreation is:

  • important to Wales’ economy
  • fundamental to the economy of many of our coastal areas.

Around 50% of full-time jobs in the marine and coastal environment are in tourism. Tourism and recreation encourages wider economic and local regeneration activity. This sector offers significant development potential and is considered a strategic priority for marine planning.

WNMP sector policies

T&R_01: tourism and recreation (supporting)

T&R_01 a 

Proposals that demonstrate a positive contribution to tourism and recreation opportunities and policy objectives (for the sector) around the Welsh coast will be supported where they contribute to the objectives of this plan. Proposals should comply with the relevant general policies and sector safeguarding policies of this plan and any other relevant considerations.

T&R_01 b 

Relevant public authorities and the sector are encouraged, in liaison with other interested parties, to collaborate to understand opportunities for sustainable tourism and recreation around the Welsh coast, including:

  • developing a strategic evidence base to improve understanding of current and potential tourism and recreation activities, including eco-tourism and other low impact activities; and
  • opportunities to define areas of future opportunity for tourism and recreation

in order to support the sustainable development of the tourism and recreation sector through marine planning.

Sector map

View the tourism and recreation sector on the Marine Planning Portal.

Relevant links

Welsh National Marine Plan

Business Wales Tourism Zone