Friday, 29 January 2010

TPNW

I didn't know what TPNW was until a few days ago, but it stands for Tourism Partnership North Wales which is an organisation funded by Visit Wales, itself part of the Welsh Assembly Government. Readers may recall in April 2006, Rhodri Morgan had a bonfire of the quangos taking into the Welsh Assembly such well known brand names as the Welsh Tourist Board and the WDA. We now seem to have reinvented the wheel by creating a further two quangos where previously there used to be one. What else are Visit Wales and TPNW except for glorified quangos, and that is only in North Wales.

The reason why I came to know about TPNW was from reading a comment on Maurice Jones's blog about 'Chesterification'which referred to the 2010 - 2015 Tourism Strategy for North Wales produced by TPNW.
To be honest I was not particularly inspired by reading this strategy because of the condescending way it refers to our language and culture where it describes it as:

"This is a great asset and really does make Wales a different place from England, although it can easily be off-putting and excluding for non Welsh speakers. We should aim to exude pride and confidence not defensiveness."

If Welsh culture and language is such a great asset why aren't Welsh cultural events like the Urdd and the National Eisteddfod, who visit North Wales every other year mentioned?. In fact the National Eisteddfod comes to Wrecsam in 2011 bringing with it 160,000 visitors and approx £6 to £8 million economic benefit to Wrecsam not to mention a legacy of pride in the language and all things Welsh...and there is no mention of it in this strategy.

I also wonder whether visitors to France, Spain or Greece find the speaking of their respective languages off-putting or is it only in Wales. I really cannot see the Basques or Cataluynians putting these type of negative comments about their own culture and language in their own tourism strategies...it begs the question who writes these strategies?. Finally, we need to question of who lacks the confidence here?, is it us who proudly wear our Welsh identity on a daily basis or is it these faceless civil servants who write such patronising and meaningless strategies.

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