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Faith tourism can provide a major boost to the Welsh rural economy – William Powell AM

May 7, 2013 3:03 PM

William Powell AM, Welsh Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Rural Affairs, has called on the Welsh Government to do more to ensure that faith tourism is fully promoted across Wales in order to boost its benefits to the Welsh rural economy.

William Powell AM, Welsh Liberal Democrat for Mid and West Wales, said:

"Wales has a proud religious heritage with sites such as St. David's, Bardsey Island and Strata Florida proving themselves to be popular pilgrimage trails for many centuries.

"The Welsh rural economy has a lot to benefit from faith tourism and the Welsh Government must continue to take steps to encourage its development."

The Very Reverend Geoffrey Marshall, Dean of Brecon Cathedral, added:

"It is difficult to quantify what faith tourism is worth to the local rural economy, but I have for years campaigned to get all churches to be open during daylight hours and to work together to form local trails - when I was Rector of Wrexham I worked with Wrexham County Borough Council and European funding to have wonderful signs, guides, boards, seats etc. round 28 rural churches.

"People on a tour of churches may buy candles, magazines and souvenirs in the churches (as well as leave generous donations) but they also spend money in local pubs, restaurants, shops and even hotels, camp sites and B &Bs."