THE MONDAY MOAN – A once a week spot for us to moan about the stuff that perhaps we should all be moaning about that little bit more… 

If you’re a tourism business in Wales then you really need to be complaining to the Welsh Government’s tourism department and their delivery of VisitWales. This appears to be a ship floating on a sea of nepotism and mismanagement and being piloted by those with no knowledge of sailing.

If you’re a tourist or visitor to Wales I’d suggest ignore VisitWales and go elsewhere for decent information on what Wales has to offer.

If you’re a resident of Wales you really ought to be complaining about the waste, the abuse of taxpayer goodwill and the multiple levels of bureaucracy that does little to promote Wales to the wider world.

Right now, today, the VisitWales website is asking visitors not to come to Wales. Of course, visitors from England are not able to cross the border until next week but surely the tagline ought to be something about being open to the English from then, get booking now kind of thing.

Whilst real tourism business’ have been struggling with the ever changing landscape, the imposition of new restrictions, the opening up of the countryside following the lifting of said restrictions the team at VisitWales have been working on ‘We’re Good To Go’ a complete waste of public money and designed over multiple cups of tea and even more multiple biscuits in the meeting rooms of government offices across the UK. If you’re business agrees to work to the new standards (washing, cleaning, distancing etc) then you will be awarded with a badge…

I’ve noted that on the VisitWales website the highlighted company that is an early recipient of this award is Clyne Farm Centre. This put a smile on my face…

I used to deliver the adventure activities at Clyne Farm. I broke off relations with Mr Hayden, the owner of the farm, for his using of my staff for activities they were not trained to deliver and whilst I was absent. It was and, given the TripAdvisor feedback, 37 one star reviews, still is an appalling place to stay or to take part in any activities. Any person associated with the delivery of animal cruelty, unsafe activities and general poor tourism provision at this location really does need to think again about their life choices.

When we parted ways I supplied my final invoice for services provided and Mr Hayden refused to settle. I submitted a small claim, for a few thousand pounds, and of course won the case…

Following my experiences at Clyne Farm, reports of airlifts with spinal injuries from the site and the widespread dissatisfaction as evidenced by reviews I contacted VisitWales, Swansea City Council and BAHA, the British Activity Holiday Association and I asked them to investigate and effectively de-platform the farm. Tumbleweed.

Something that highlights the H&S record at the farm is this Krab. It was at the top of an indoor climbing wall and was the sole support for it’s particular climb. There were similar others throughout the climbing wall. When I inspected the wall it HAD NEVER had a review or physical inspection despite BAHA signing off the farm as safe on a year on year basis.

Then in 2013 Clyne Farm were fined £170,000 for breaking the back of a scout leader on their muddy assault course. Here is my report:

https://walesoutdoors.blogs.com/weblog/2013/02/clyne-farm-finally-gets-judged.html

I repeat this as I am left wondering what does Mr Geoff Hayden have on the management of VisitWales that they continue to promote Clyne Farm over and above other business in Wales and despite the reports of slapdash and dangerous provision.

For those delivering tourism business’ in Wales who have had enough of government interference then I would recommend that you join Wales Outdoors in displaying this logo :


And for advertising and Clyne Farms Facebook banner pic, deep down we’ve always known that it’s all smoke and mirrors…

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Andrew Lamb avatar
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Walk leader @ Wales Outdoors, life model @ Cardiff Life Models and poet @ Self Published I opened the first mountain bike hire business in the Brecon Beacons National Park in 1995. Since then my business, Wales Outdoors, has grown and morphed and is now the most active and most popular guided walks and adventure travel provider in Wales. Andy has been a volunteer co-ordinator, guided walks programme organiser and part time central area warden for the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority, chair of Brecon Beacons Tourism, a Duke of Edinburghs area co-ordinator, a Princes Trust social inclusion manager, the catalyst for the Brecon Beacons National Park Environment Charter and a key motivator for the inception of the outdoor activity peer group, SWOAPG. Join Me! for a walk or two :)