Attractions industry news

12 Jul 2017

Plan launched to safeguard Snowdon from increased tourism

A plan to protect the Welsh mountain of Snowdon from increased tourism has been unveiled by the National Park Authority.

Snowdon – the UK’s most visited mountain and Wales’ third most visited tourist attraction – has seen a dramatic increase in visitor numbers in recent years, with the number of first time hill walkers doubling between 2013 and 2015. In 2016, 582,000 people visited the mountain’s summit, with 3.89 million people visiting the Snowdonia National Park.

While tourism is essential to the area with visitor spend in Snowdon totalling an estimated £69m (US$88.8m, €77.4m) a year to the mountain and £475m (US$610.6m, €533m) a year to the Snowdonia region, increased visitor numbers are also causing a number of problems, including increased litter, stretched visitor facilities and rescue teams, and damage to the natural environment.

Known as the Snowdon Partnership Plan, a consultation was launched on Thursday, outlining the ways to promote the area and to safeguard it for future generations from these kind of issues, with the plan divided into five priority themes – caring for the natural environment; the rural economy and local communities; infrastructure and services; visitor information and tourism; and outdoor activities, adventure and education.

According to the draft, by 2030 an extended season will encourage visitors to explore Snowdon in the low season, making increased visitor numbers more manageable. The plan will also provide better information about the mountain’s natural value, with information boards, interactive screens, a redeveloped website and new merchandise helping to develop this. As part of this, a Visitor Giving Scheme will broaden its promotion, while the local community will be able to participate in deciding where money raised is allocated.

The plan will also improve flow around the mountain, with new park and ride facilities helping to boost parking and reduce traffic on Snowdon. Paths in the higher areas and the Snowdon Circular walk will be better maintained and developed to provide safer and easier access to the mountain.

“Central to the plan is the Wellbeing of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015, which puts in place a sustainable development principle which tells organisations how to go about fulfilling their duty under the act,” said the Snowdon Partnership.

“This means working with other organisations to help meet our wellbeing objectives. Involvement is also considered an important element. This highlights the importance of involving people that reflect the diversity of the area we serve.”

The draft plan will be finalised in the Autumn by the Snowdonia National Park Authority Working Group, with the action plan then being implemented. To see the full draft, click here.

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