Wild Wales Tours Media
Taff Roberts and Wild Wales Tours was recently featured in the Winona Post! This article features great information about Taff and the tours. Please read the article at the Winona Post here.
Another article featured by the Winona Post discusses Taff's talk at the Winona Historical Society. See the article here!
Sustainable Tourism in Wales
Sustainable tourism in Wales is a much more viable alternative to the mass tourism that has
exploited the environment and destroyed the quality of life for many locals in destinations
around the world. For example, in the past five years Iceland has hosted millions of foreign tourists who have overrun parts of their island home, and threatened to compromise the fragile ecosystem.
Mass tourism is a large and lucrative business that can drastically change the quality of life for the local population. Sustainable tourism enables travelers to make a positive impact on the environment, society, and economy. It can be defined as a management strategy for attracting international visitors, taking into full account the consequences such action will have on the environment, the host culture and its economy. Thus, in order to fully achieve this ambition, sustainable tourism practitioners should: (according to Michael Chapman in his “Guide to Iceland”)
Protect and conserve the socio-cultural legitimacy of the host community, respecting their heritage, belief systems and cultural practices. The host community must contribute in return, educating their guests on how best to interact with and respect the natural environment.
Ensure the protection of ecological sites imperative to tourism development. This is of particular importance in Wales due to the many historic castles, abbeys, and ancient sites, going back over five thousand years.
Wales has three National Parks: Snowdonia, the Brecon Beacons and the Pembrokeshire Park. The parks include magnificent landscapes, habitats, villages and heritage sites, and cover twenty percent of the country. Most of the land is privately owned and people live and work there. National Parks U.K. oversees and advises the three parks in Wales, sharing experiences, and managing joint training projects within the parks. This body promotes sustainable development within the parks.
Provide economic relief for host communities from profits earned through tourism development, as well as providing all suitable stakeholders with their fair distribution.
CADW, a Welsh word meaning keep or protect, is the Welsh government’s agency that manages and conserves all historical and heritage sites within Wales. The Welsh government presently is managing a project to develop heritage tourism in Wales. This is largely funded by the Government and from the EU Convergence Funds. Closing local offices of tourism in Wales is detrimental to this effort and to tourism in general.
It would be in the interest of Wales for the Welsh Assembly to install a tourist official with knowledge of sustainable tourism to benefit the nation. This kind of office has greatly attracted overseas visitors to Ireland and Scotland in the past twenty years or so. Although there is uncertainty, we hope that initiatives like these will continue to be funded here in Wales to protect our nations heritage, culture and language.
Hywel Taff Roberts
Wild Wales Tours & Walkabouts L.L.C., by Hywel Roberts
Wild Wales Tours and Walkabouts L.L.C. was established to introduce North Americans and others to the people, culture and physical landscapes of the nation of Wales. The Lonely Planet Guide for 2017 chose North Wales as the fourth most desirable region to visit on the planet in 2017!
Growing up in Snowdonia, North Wales in the ‘50s and ‘60s, I had no idea how lucky I was to be raised in such a rich culture, surrounded by magnificent landscape. After leaving Ysgol y Gader High School in Dolgellau in 1967, with no prospects of finding work in the area, I joined the Royal Air Force. Six years later I sailed across the Atlantic on a small sailboat to the Welsh settlement in Patagonia, but ended up in Northern Maine. I met my wife Anne in Los Angeles in 1989, and the next thing I knew we were moving to the prairies in southeastern Minnesota for her teaching job at Winona State University. We are still here!!
For the past twenty years, Anne’s colleagues and many of our friends have asked me to take them to Wales. Most of them have been to Ireland, the Isle of Skye, London, Paris and many other destinations in Europe, but the truth of it is, they don't know where Wales is, or its relation within the British Isles!
Wild Wales Tours & Walkabouts was established to introduce North Americans and others directly to the Welsh people and culture, and to their own Welsh heritage, all from an authentic Welsh perspective. Our goals are to highlight the immense beauty of the Welsh landscape, the choral tradition of Wales, and the everyday lives of the people who reside in this magical nation. Our vision is to help sustain the Welsh language, and build relationships to promote economic growth. Along the way we will be entertained by story tellers, musicians and historians.
Many of our guests tell us that they would like to travel in an unhurried way, meet the Welsh people, and discuss issues of the day. Often we will be staying in the same area or town for two or three days to get to know the history and people.
In May 2017 we took our first Wild Wales Tour group to travel around Wales at a slower pace for ten days with no more than twenty people on the bus. At some locations we will have local dignitaries there to welcome us! We will board the Welsh Highland Railway in Caernarfon that will take us through the Snowdonia mountains to our next hotel in the seaport town of Porthmadog. The choral tradition in Wales, over a thousand years old, is the backbone that connects the Welsh language and culture. The Brythoniaid Male Voice Choir from Blaenau Ffestiniog, Gwynedd, won the prestigious first place at the National Eisteddfod in Abergavenny this past summer. On our bus tours in May and October, 2017, we heard them sing and meet with them afterwards!
We also will be leading Wild Wales Walkabouts for 8-10 people hiking around the Welsh Coastal Path and Snowdonia National Park. As we connect with the landscape and the amazing world of nature, we will pass through small, rural Welsh communities and the countryside that surrounds them. As we tread along we will support small businesses, stay in local B&B’s and small hotels, and eat in the local pubs. We do cater to family groups and clubs who would like us to customize their trip to Wales.
Come join us!
Why North Americans should visit Wales
Mawddach Estuary, Barmouth Bridge