Stymying Welsh visitors

By | Category: Travel rumblings

One airline no longer using Cardiff. And there are others!

Two stories concerning Wales and those of us that visit the country cropped up this week. Together, they may offer a future that will boost visitor numbers. But then both plans are so far away.
For all of us who use the Severn bridges, the toll and the high sums we pay has been a source of annoyance for years. It costs £6.20 to travel the mile or so but we have been promised that when it will come into public ownership there will be a reduction in tolls. In 2010 the debt stood at £19 million left to pay. Now it is £112 million. How can £93 million have been chalked up in just two years? Actually it wasn’t £93 million only £88 because the government got its figures wrong. So if they can have been wrong by £5 million once could it be wrong again? After all, government departments aren’t renowned for their abilities to add two-and-two.

It doesn’t need me to remind you that this toll must hit visitor numbers as well. It also might deter people from over the border using Cardiff Airport.

Which leads to the second story. After the Assembly bought the airport in the hope that they could stem declining passenger numbers, a conference was held tonight sponsored by Hugh James Solicitors with Cardiff Metropolitan University and Western Gateway to discuss the airport. Western Gateway – said to be a group of entrepreneurs and transport experts – think that Cardiff would handle up to 5 million passengers helped by the removal of APD on long haul flights. (And that’s going to happen I don’t think) They also point out that 945,000 locals use the airport but the number flying from the area exceeds 3million, the majority then preferring to fly from other airports. Why?
It doesn’t need an expert to say why. Most travellers use short-haul flights and Cardiff has been losing those at an alarming rate. The reason? Flights don’t go to where we travel at prices we find acceptable. So firstly, the airport needs to attract airlines that can offer that. Flights to Paris and Frankfurt as suggested by Western Gateway are for business people and whilst they might pay more they won’t provide the bulk of the numbers.
So CD-Traveller is going to investigate where those living in South and Mid-Wales flew from last year and where they went to. We should have the results in about two weeks.

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