What are Brown Tourism Signs For?

By | Category: Travel rumblings

Tourist Signs

You all know that brown signs are there to make it easier for the visitor to find and thus, visit tourism sites and attractions. Getting them can prove a lengthy process in some cases and it isn’t cheap. Two stories have surfaced in the last couple of months about the slipshod way the system appears to be working – or not working in Wales.

Near Haverfordwest in Pembrokeshire, McDonalds have managed to get listed on a brown sign much to the disgust of the local member of the Welsh Assembly, Angels Burns.  Yes, I do mean the fast food chain. But in Llandrindod Wells where there is the National Cycle Museum, there is no brown sign for the attraction. Despite the efforts of the owner, David Higman who was even awarded an MBE for services to tourism, he has failed.

So let’s go back to basics. What is a brown sign for? They are designed for organisations or companies connected with tourism and, supposedly, you can’t get them for any old thing. In addition, the applicant has to receive a certain number of visitors per year. Each country operates it’s own system so do we have just a failure in the Welsh system of awarding brown signs or does it apply to England, Northern Ireland and Scotland as well? Have you seen any signs that don’t seem just?

When my kids were about four or five they were interested in McDonalds. But that doesn’t make them a tourist draw. B&B’s, Guesthouses, heritage sites, hotels and one off events like festivals are what they should be used for. No wonder Mr Higman is upset. 

Now the Assembly has said they will review the situation.  That was 3 months ago.  How long does it take to do a review or is this a way  a piece of Sir Humphrey civil service inaction? So will the review take place and the results be implemented before I start pushing up daisies?


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