Promote the Welsh language and culture
There are many organisations and individuals that can help you and your business make use of the Welsh language and culture.
Tourism is an integral part of the economy and is important to communities. When going abroad, a major part of the experience is hearing their native language spoken. It would feel the same way in Wales. Many heavily Welsh-speaking areas are highly dependant on tourism for income and employment. Promoting the language and using simple phrases with your guests can help to sustain the local culture and enriches the visitor experience.
One of the strengths of tourism in Wales is its unique identity and the Welsh language is an important component of this. There are a number of organisations and services available to help you and your business use Welsh. These include:
Helo Blod - your fast and friendly Welsh translation and advice service
- Welsh Language Commissioner [external link]
- Mentrau Iaith [external link]
It’s more important than ever that Wales has an edge over its competitors in these challenging times. We have had grading and accreditation schemes in place to look at the quality of our physical product for a long time but so do our competitors. It’s essential that Wales can offer something unique and authentic, a real sense of place. Developing a Sense of Place includes how the following can be used to create your own individual Sense of Place:
- local history
- building materials
- Welsh crafts
- Welsh language
See the Sense of Place section on the left for more detail.
Sense of place is the sensation you get when visiting somewhere for the first time – the first impression, the look, the feel, the atmosphere, the people. Sense of place embraces the distinctive sights, sounds and experiences that are rooted in a country, those unique and memorable qualities that resonate with local people and visitors alike.
The components of a sense of place are numerous and diverse, but there are some simple, practical steps you can take to help your visitors discover what it is to be Welsh, and what makes Wales so distinctive and special.
Like many other countries, bilingualism is a way of life for many in Wales. Visitors are usually intrigued and fascinated by the language and you can help them gain a little understanding of it, even if you are not a Welsh speaker yourself. A phrase here, and explanatory note there, can serve to remind visitors that they are in a unique culture with its own very ancient, very beautiful language.
- Use Welsh name plates for guest rooms
- Provide bilingual names for toilets, kitchen, garden etc.
- Learn Welsh by signing up to a free on-line course e.g. www.saysomethinginwelsh.com and speak to visitors to engage them
- Have a bilingual website
- Introduce bilingual menus
- Support staff who want to learn the language
Research has confirmed what many of us hear from our visitors daily: they love Wales’s myths and legends, its Celtic roots, its traditions and its long history – and they want background knowledge about the culture and how the people live.
- Provide local guidebooks to areas of interest
- Have reference books on the history of Wales and its people
- Obtain information on local events; provide a ‘what’s on guide’ for guests
- Consider having themed rooms to reflect the locality whether old mines or mythology!
Welsh Produce and Products
Sampling distinctive local dishes is an essential part of the holiday experience. Visitors particularly enjoy finding Welsh food on menus, and in increasing numbers are choosing places to eat which serve distinctive dishes based on fresh, local produce above others.
From the early new potatoes in Pembrokeshire to berry fruit growing in Snowdonia’s rain shadow areas, Wales produces quality ingredients that form the basis for a thriving food scene.
- Make your own or buy local produce
- Promote traditional Welsh dishes such as Cawl
- Provide information on farmers’ markets
- Use local materials, prints and artwork to decorate rooms. Traditional and contemporary artists have often drawn their influences directly from the Welsh landscape, and so whatever your style you can use local arts and crafts to develop a sense of place. A Pembrokeshire hostel has set aside a small area where local artists can display items for sale.