The impact of Covid-19 on Welsh tourism

Date published: 02 Nov 20

17 people found this feature helpful

As we all know, 2020 has been disastrous for tourism generally. Restrictions on where and how far you can travel are constantly changing, so planning ahead is much more difficult. Irrespective of political views, the movement of people around Wales has caused many areas of disagreement.

Ceredigion is a tourist destination, and we have had the lowest recorded instances of Covid-19 since the early part of the year. But we all dutifully followed the lockdown rules, everyone has worn a mask and used sanitizers, the shops have stuck with the one-way systems and restrictions of numbers on the premises at any one time. Pubs and restaurants have closed early and/or just served take-away food.

Down to Gilfach CentreWe are a low-risk area, yet we know many tourists this year have been from high-risk areas. A coach-load of visitors came from Bolton to Tenby, stopping at several places on the way; a family brought their child who had the virus as they didn’t want to miss their holiday (he was hospitalized); a pregnant woman diagnosed with the virus came here as she thought she would get better treatment here and yes, she did indeed go into labour!

We rely on visitors coming to Wales, but we have all seen how many of them have refused to follow 2-metre rules, refused to wear masks even when asked to do so, and insisted on visiting major tourist attractions with total disregard for the local population.

Recent changes and return to more restrictions have highlighted how difficult it is to keep control of the situation. We have towns in Wales where the local people are not allowed to visit major attractions but people from England have been previously allowed to travel here even if they are from a high-risk area. It is the apparent lack of logic to this situation that is causing problems for many who live in Wales – please note that lots of English people also live in Wales so this is not about the Welsh vs the English!

St David's CathedralWe are hopeful that if restrictions are imposed, people will follow them however stressful they are, as we want to see a return to our normal tourist activities as soon as possible. 

At the time of writing, a full lockdown will be introduced in the whole of Wales from 23 October to 9 November 2020. This means a return to all non-essential shops, pubs, restaurants and hotels being closed and a restriction of 5 miles distance for non-essential travel. While tourism businesses have struggled to survive so far, it is clear these new restrictions will be a major blow to every sector. 

We all want, and need, the tourists to continue to enjoy this beautiful place but for now, we will have to put any future travel plans on hold to safeguard everyone.

More about Jacqueline

Dr Jacqueline Jeynes has been a published author for more than 20 years, as well as developing course materials and providing Management Training programmes in industry since 1987.

Her first book was published in 2000 by Butterworth Heinemann (now Elsevier) followed by two more titles on how to manage health and safety in a small business. These were based on her PhD and work as a health and safety specialist in industry while a national policy representative for Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).

For more information, visit

To subscribe to Jacqueline’s newsletters, visit

See also

Places to visit in Wales

17 people found this feature helpful

Did you find this feature helpful? YES
Enjoy reading other articles and reviews on this subject.
Read more

What are your thoughts?

To leave a comment, please Sign in

Other Members' Thoughts - 3 Comment(s)

  • Marayah
    1 day ago
    Unfortunately for the pub owners this will be a bleak income year. I am relieved to hear that no alcohol will be served which will encourage people to remain at home though. During the Summer months the restrictions made no sense and were laughable because people violated these as they were meeting up at local outdoor cafes and pubs and they were not from the same family or even vicinity. Some of the cafe's even had their tables on the sidewalks where people needed to walk within less than 2 feet to pass safely. I think no alcohol and early closig should be the rule rather than the exception these days. I do feel sorry for the pub owners and staff and their families, my son being one whose pub has closed due to illness.
  • SilverTravelUser
    1 day ago
    Hi Marayah, I agree it is really difficult when you live near the border with England. I live on Cardigan Bay in the west so really as far away as possible! Having said that, it is caravan park region with many visitors/owners coming from South Wales where they have been in more strict lockdown rules. Just over a week ago, someone in Cardigan had a party, invited lots of friends from England who all came, they did a big pub crawl around Cardigan, went to the Chinese restaurant and other shops, so now all these places are closed down, their staff have had to self-isolate for 14 days, and at least 6 of the party have tested positive. How can you deal with that? But, no alcohol in any of our pubs for 2 weeks from tomorrow so that should be interesting!
  • Marayah
    2 days ago
    I live in Wales on the English Border. There is still a lot of traffic on the roads. I hope th new restrictions announced this week will aid in preventing greater harm to the local population. These border town small business are finding it hard to survive. Since Monmouth is a border town many visitors do not realize that they are leaving England and in Wales. This confusion leads to more boycotting than necessary of local businesses.