Conference to showcase tourism to South Wales valleys

South Wales is to host a conference that will focus on the benefits of a form of tourism to the South Wales valleys that can benefit the region’s business as well as including and positively affecting local people.

Titled, Community Tourism in the Valleys – A National Conference, the event is to be held at The Orangery, Margam Park, Margam, over two days on 23 and 24 April 2013, and will showcase the impact that community tourism has on the Valleys Regional Park.

The Valleys Regional Park is an area that spans from Cwmbran to Kidwelly, and it is a network of visitor trails, facilities, country parks, heritage sites and nature reserves across the Valleys. Developed through a partnership of more than 40 organisations, its overall aim is to utilise the natural environment and heritage of the Valleys to drive social and economic regeneration.

The Valleys Regional Park Partnership, aided by European Regional Development Funding through the Welsh government, is driving the promotion of tourism in the Valleys, improving facilities and engaging local communities in tourism related activities.

Community oriented tourism will be a main theme of the conference, organised by The Valleys Regional Park (VRP) Partnership, which includes representation from the Welsh government, Capital Regional tourism and all of the area’s Local Authorities. The conference will be addressed by leading tourism and travel industry speakers, including James Turner from Hidden Britain, a charity for preservation, protection and promotion of rural environment, and Steve Keenan from Travel Perspective, who is a former online travel editor at Times Online and the Sunday Times.

In addition to talks from invited speakers, the conference will also include site visits to the Valleys Regional Park and discussions with key speakers and industry experts to offer guidance on how tourism can benefit businesses and communities.

Carl Sargeant, minister for Housing and Regeneration, said, ‘I am delighted to endorse this conference. It demonstrates how the Valleys Regional Park Programme is working with communities to develop tourism opportunities as part of wider regeneration activity. I look forward to hearing the views of stakeholders and experts on how we can best sustain this work in the long term as part of the Welsh Government’s recently announced regeneration policy, ‘Vibrant and Viable Places’.

Businesses that wish to attend the National Tourism Conference and learn how they can benefit from the approach of the VRP, can register by sending an email to, and more information can be found at