#AskFirstMin - The Committee for the Scrutiny of the First Minister wants to hear from you

Published 09/09/2015   |   Last Updated 10/01/2021   |   Reading Time minutes

#AskFirstMin - Have your question answered by the First Minister, Carwyn Jones blogheaderfinal The Committee wants to hear from organisations, businesses and from you – more details on how to take part online below. The Committee for the Scrutiny of the First Minister is meeting in Swansea on October 16 at 10.30 at the National Waterfront Museum. The main topic will be ‘Wales in the Wider World’. Here’s a flavour of the main drivers for discussion:

What is the Welsh Government’s overall strategy for marketing and promoting Wales to the world? What is the Welsh brand? How well are Welsh attractions promoted to tourists? Does the Welsh Government do enough to draw in investors?
Does the Welsh Government do a good job of making Wales seem appealing to tourists from the UK and abroad?  Is Welsh culture visible enough outside of Wales? What markets or products should be prioritised?

COLLAGE A full agenda will be posted on the Committee's web page when confirmed.  The majority of Committees meet weekly to scrutinise the Welsh Government in detail but The Committee for the Scrutiny of the First Minister focuses on broad topics relating to any central strategic vision of the Welsh Government’s programme. How do I take part online? You can submit your question, observation or comment to the Committee on the topic of ‘Wales in the Wider World’ any way you like:

Twitter On Twitter – Follow @AssemblyWales on Twitter and reply to any tweets relating to this topic or use the hashtag #AskFirstMin. Also feel free to Direct Message us if you’d like it to be confidential.
 Facebook On Facebook – Like the Assembly’s Facebook Page and leave a comment on a relevant status. If you can’t see a relevant status then leave a comment on the page with the hashtag #AskFirstMin.
 Email E-Mail – You can send your views by e-mail to: FM.Scrutiny@Assembly.Wales
 Youtube On YouTube – Why not film yourself asking your question and then send us the link through any of the channels above?
 Instagram On Instagram – If you can express your views in a creative visual way we’d love to see it. Tag our Senedd Instagram account within your picture or just use the hashtag #AskFirstMin. Alternatively you can leave a comment on any one of our Instagram posts again with the hashtag #AskFirstMin.
 Wordpress Comments – Leave a comment on this blog post right now!

What happens next? We will collate the responses and hand them over to the Committee’s Chair - David Melding AM. The Chair will then incorporate them into the line of questioning for the First Minister, Carwyn Jones. You can come and watch the meeting in person, online on Senedd.TV or read the transcript. We’ll let you know if your question was answered. The meeting will take place on 16 October, 10.30 in Swansea at the National Waterfront Museum. We look forward to hearing your views!

 "You can see the extraordinary beauty, the wonderful people and great hospitality, so I'd encourage everybody in the States to come and visit Wales.” - President Barack Obama

Explore the topic – ‘Wales in the Wider World’ This may seem like a complex topic but sometimes it’s good to take a step back and look at the big picture. We want to hear out of the box ideas, comments from different perspectives and from different walks of life. The National Assembly for Wales scrutinises the Welsh Government in detail every day but this is a chance to think big. How do you market a country? How does the Welsh Government do it? Here are some places to start:

Past work by the National Assembly for WalesNAFW-Logo-portrait-Slate Tourism Inquiry (2014) Website page | YouTube Playlist | Download the full report (PDF 625KB)

“I would like to see a multilevel brand [for Wales], ―so that we are, first and foremost, Anglesey, then we are Welsh, and then we are British.” - Alison Lea Wilson, Halen Môn Salt Factory

The National Assembly for Wales’ Enterprise and Business Committee undertook an inquiry into tourism in Wales. The report was published in November 2014. [caption id="attachment_1671" align="alignright" width="300"]Enterprise and Business Committee visit Lechwedd Slate Caverns Enterprise and Business Committee visit Lechwedd Slate Caverns[/caption] Here are some interesting points from the resulting report to consider:

  • Tourism is worth £6.9 billion a year to Wales, or 13.2% of GVA. As a sector, it supports an estimated 206,000 jobs and is one of our three biggest employers.
  • Tourism is also one of our biggest export industries, with 80% of visitor spending coming from outside Wales. Since 2005 it has been the fastest-growing sector of our economy.
  • One fundamental issue that was raised with us was the scale of Welsh Government investment in tourism. We heard that the marketing spend on tourism in Wales was roughly equivalent to that of Glasgow, and several stakeholders felt that more money was needed to promote our tourism offer.
  • Time and again we heard that Wales needed a more visible and coherent brand that tourism businesses of all sizes could tap into—particularly through the Visit Wales website, which should be the hub of our marketing activity.
  • We were told that “the Wales tourism brand is almost non-existent and compared to Scotland and Ireland we are way off the mark”
  • The ‘brand’ for Wales is beginning to strengthen, however the very nature of the country and all it offers makes it extremely difficult to generate a single unifying brand.
  • Visit Wales should involve tourism businesses more closely with its advertising campaigns, so they understand better what Visit Wales is trying to achieve, and can co-ordinate their own work accordingly.
  • The Welsh Government should do more to encourage joint promotion of heritage assets, including those outside of its care, building upon existing examples of good practice.
  • The Welsh Government should do more to maximise the tourism impact of major events and ensure that Wales’s success in hosting major events feeds through into a strong Wales tourism brand.
  • The Welsh Government must do more to increase and improve VisitBritain’s promotion of Wales.
  • Given the value of tourism to Wales’ economy and the rich range of natural, cultural and other assets in Wales, we believe the Welsh Government, working closely with key stakeholders across Wales, should ensure that tailored support is available to maximise EU funding opportunities to help grow the industry in Wales.

Inquiry into the Welsh Government's approach to the promotion of trade and inward investment (2014) Website page | YouTube Playlist | Download the full report (PDF 597 KB)

“I certainly believe that, ultimately, the brand is Wales. One of the things that I passionately believe in, in terms of the advice that we give to other places, is that it does not matter whether the aim of the communication is to encourage inward investment, to encourage tourism, or to promote a nation‘s food: ultimately, it is the same  place that is being talked about.” – Roger Pride, former Director of Marketing for the Welsh Government

Blog articles The In Brief blog is written by the Research Service at the National Assembly for Wales.

Footage from Senedd.TVSENEDDTV Senedd.TV is the online broadcast channel for the National Assembly for Wales. It captures everything that happens in the Senedd Chamber and Committee rooms, broadcasting live and collecting an archive. Committee meetings on Senedd.TV

Plenary on Senedd.TV Plenary meetings are attended by all Assembly Members and are one of the mechanisms for Members to hold the Welsh Government to account.

Relevant content from the Welsh GovernmentWelsh Government 40mm

“Marketing activity will be increased in London and South East Midlands and Yorkshire, as well as within Wales itself for the first time. Overseas, the 3 key markets identified by the panel are Ireland, Germany and USA.“ – Welsh Government, Partnership for Growth: Strategy for Tourism 2013-2020

Wales.com – Billed as the ‘Official Gateway to Wales’ this is a website designed to give an overview of Wales as a nation to those outside of it.

Visit Wales - The Welsh Government's tourism team promote Welsh tourism and assist the Welsh tourism industry. Website | YouTube Channel 

Just Ask Wales Campaign “aimed at attracting more foreign-owned companies looking to grow and expand to consider a future in Wales.  The campaign highlights the skills, support, space and speed of decision making in Wales.”

Written Statement - Promotion and Marketing of Wales abroad by Edwina Hart, Minister for Economy, Science and Transport

Wales 2016: Year of Adventure – “The theming of future years will promote Wales's greatest strengths and focus activities, events and attractions on the strongest qualities of the Welsh tourism offer. Following The Year of Adventure in 2016 will be The Year of Legends in 2017 and The Year of the Sea in 2018.”

Partnership for Growth: Strategy for Tourism 2013-2020 – “This strategy sets the vision for the Welsh Government and the tourism industry to work in partnership to increase visitor spend to Wales.”

Wales in the World: The Welsh Government’s international agenda

Branding for Countries – How do they compare?

“Journey to the ancient Celtic kingdom of Wales, land of castles.” – Visit Britain website
visitwales logo discover ni visit scotland
 Visit Britain Tourism Ireland Visit Croatia
nz pure

Perceptions of Wales headlines To get an objective idea of how Wales is marketed and perceived you can look at Welsh, UK or Global Media perceptions. Some are commissioned marketing articles and others are natural coverage presenting a variety of viewpoints.

"Back in the old days travelling to the UK usually meant a trip to just London. The modern tourist now knows better. A weekend in Wales can be a very exhilarating experience." - The India Tribune
Seven must see Welsh locations (Wales Online) Dyffryn Gardens wis votes as nation’s most Special Place (Wales Online)
An Australian went to Barry Island for the first time and this is what happened (Wales Online) Dramatic rise in foreign investment projects in Wales (BBC Wales)
Welsh MPs unite to press for a VAT for cut for the tourism industry (Wales Online) Michael Sheen hails project to reopen Wales' longest disused tunnel with 'huge potential for tourism' (Wales Online)
Welsh Tories call for major overhaul in Welsh tourism (Wales Online) Can you guess the Welsh landmarks, celebrities and foods Chinese tourists came up with these bizarre names for? (Wales Online)
Take a look at five of Wales’ most exciting archaeological discoveries in recent years (Wales Online) The 45 best beaches in Wales: The stunning sands you must visit this summer (Wales Online)
In Wales, a Toast to Dylan Thomas on His 100th Birthday (The New York Times) At the Hay Festival, Democratizing Inspiration (The New York Times)
The Welsh Strive to Keep Their Language (The New York Times) As Scots Weigh Independence, Wales Takes Note (The New York Times)
Following Trails at the Welsh Countryside: The British Cop Show ‘Hinterland’ Comes to Netflix (The New York Times) Napoleonic castle off the Welsh coast to be joined to mainland for the first time thanks to 330ft footbridge (Mail Online)
How Celtic Manor is the perfect venue to create your own piece of Ryder Cup magic (Mail Online) Is INLAND WALES the best surf spot on the planet? (Mail Online)
A mountain-biking escape in Carmarthenshire where you can wash off the mud in chalet comfort (Mail Online) Welsh Castle Appoints First Jester Since 13th Century (Huffington Post)
A town gone to the dog: The legend of a dog is an interesting diversion on a trip to a small town in Wales (The India Tribune) Watch: U.S. ambassador to Britain struggles to speak Welsh (The Washington Post)
Galleries:  Wild weather lashes Welsh coast (The Adelaide Advertiser) Hop to it: a craft beer tour of north Wales (The Guardian)

More about the Committee for the Scrutiny of the First Minister The Committee for the Scrutiny of the First Minister was established in 2012 with the remit to question the First Minister on any matter relevant to the functions of the Welsh Government. Main website page Current Members committee members

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What is a committee? Committees are one of the key mechanisms that enable the Assembly to fulfil its statutory and constitutional functions Effective scrutiny of a government’s work is at the heart of any democratic process, and this work is undertaken by the National Assembly through a number of committees made up of Assembly Members from all political parties. Committees recommend ways in which (for example) government policies could be more robust and its expenditure more effective, efficient and economical. Committees engage proactively and innovatively with individuals and organisations which can articulate the voice and experience of the people of Wales Full list of National Assembly for Wales committees

More about the First Minister of Wales Rt. Hon Carwyn Jones AM is the current First Minister of Wales. The First Minister of Wales is the leader of the Welsh Government and is appointed by HM the Queen following nomination by Assembly Members. The First Minister's responsibilities include:

  • Appointing the Cabinet of Welsh Ministers, Deputy Ministers and the Counsel General (with the approval of Her Majesty) who comprise the Welsh Government;
  • Chairing Cabinet meetings and exercising the functions of the Welsh Government;
  • Leading policy development and delivery;
  • Managing relationships with the rest of the UK and internationally;
  • Representing the people of Wales on official business;
  • Staffing.