Wales is a relatively small nation on the periphery of Europe and faces keen economic competition to attract skilled workers, tourists and inward investment, not only within the United Kingdom, but from Europe and further afield. Both the UK Government and the Welsh Government, and their associated bodies such as the British Council, Visit Britain, Visit Wales and UK Trade and Investment, have responsibility for promoting and representing Wales abroad.
The UK Government spends substantial amounts of money on the promotion of the UK through bodies such as the British Council, the diplomatic service and tourism promoters such as Visit Britain, although it is unclear how much its efforts are focussed on promoting Wales and how this corresponds to Wales’s 5% share of the British population.
Wales will host the 2014 NATO summit in September. This will be one of the largest international summits ever hosted in the UK and provides an opportunity to highlight what Wales has to offer to the international community.
Our inquiry will focus on three main areas related to the international promotion and representation of Wales: tourism; trade and inward investment; and Welsh culture.
In particular, the Committee invites written submissions and requests observations on the following issues:
- How effectively are the UK Government and the Welsh Government, and their associated public bodies such as Visit Britain and Visit Wales, promoting Wales overseas as a first-choice destination for tourists;
- Whether Wales has an identifiable ‘brand’ overseas;
- How successful UK bodies, including the UK Government, the Welsh Government and UK Trade and Investment, have been in promoting Wales as a place to do business and invest, and promoting Welsh products overseas;
- How effectively is Welsh culture (e.g. Welsh events, such as St. David’s Day, Welsh authors and Welsh film and television) promoted overseas by UK Government bodies, such as the British Council and the FCO;
- The support given to Welsh societies overseas by UK Government bodies to promote Welsh culture.
- How the 2014 NATO Summit can be best capitalised to promote Wales overseas.
The Committee asks for written submissions on this issue in accordance with the guidelines stated below. The deadline for written submissions is midday on Wednesday 12 March.
Interested parties are invited to keep to a word limit of 4,000 words and to submit written evidence via the web portal below in word format only. There is no need to address all parts of the terms of reference.