We as an Authority anticipate a significantly high number of day visitors to the National Park when the COVID-19 restrictions are eased. Since the end of last summer, we have been planning accordingly and have been developing plans to manage the predicted challenges facing the National Park this season. This involves a two-pronged approach of operational and communication activities:
Operational activities – in co-ordination with our partners.
- Additional overflow shuttle bus parking in Llanberis to service Pen y Pass.
- New customer friendly pre-booking at Pen y Pass following the successful pilot last year.
- Community master-planning sessions with gateway communities as part of the long term plans to transform the area into one known internationally for it’s sustainable tourism approach.
- Discussions with our partners, Gwynedd Council and Conwy County Borough Council on providing additional park and ride services.
- Temporary and permanent signage – currently being developed in collaboration with Transport for Wales and local authorities, due to be in place by June.
- Toilet facilities – all our toilets were fully open last season (on lifting of lockdown restrictions) along with additional sanitation stations and will remain so this year.
- A repeat of the major volunteering scheme ‘Welcome Back Volunteers’, re-branded as ‘Care for Snowdonia Volunteers’ for 2021 – last year we had over a hundred volunteers led by our and Snowdonia Society staff who were out every weekend and during select days of the week collecting litter and advising visitors in the Yr Wyddfa and Ogwen areas. We will build on the success of the scheme this year.
- Fly-camping – as part of a new campaign we will be urging visitors to make the most of the many campsites and glamping sites in the region, and strongly pushing people away from fly-camping activities.
- The National Park information van will visit key hot-spot sites.
- Collaborating with all 15 UK National Parks via the National Parks Visitor Management Group on a joined approach to visitor management.
Communication activities – locally, regionally, and nationally – pan-Wales as well as pan-UK.
Our own 2021 communications campaign objectives will be to:
Influence when and where people visit:
- Encourage people to come at different times of the week or year.
- Where appropriate and only where suitable infrastructure and capacity is available, encourage visiting alternatives to the usual honey pots.
- Get more people to plan ahead before they travel in order to reduce parking, fly-camping and campervan issue.
- Book before you go – encourage people to only stay overnight if they have a place booked.
- Big emphasis on pre-planning: encourage people to plan where they will park/travel to the start of their route e.g. pre-booking at Pen y Pass.
- Positive and respectful behaviour when visiting.
- Use public toilets.
- Leave no trace.
- Help clear litter/make volunteering part of the holiday.
Welcome Back Volunteers (© SNPA)
We will also seek to:
- Reach the new and emerging audiences with our communications.
- Work with partners (regional and national) and National Park Ambassadors and volunteers to amplify messaging and reach.
- Use content showing what things are actually like on the ground to engage audiences.
- Reassure local host communities that we as an Authority together with our partners are proactively protecting and advocating the needs of the area.
- Regional collaboration with other authorities via the North Wales Comms Cell.
- Wider Wales wide campaign headed by Visit Wales.
- UK Wide campaign in collaboration with all 15 UK National Parks.
- Plans afoot to work with our 338 (and growing!) Eryri Ambassadors from the tourism and outdoor activities sector to collaborate on shared messaging, building on the positive collaboration with the sector last year with the Welcome Back campaign.
We as an Authority and all our staff are doing everything within our power to prepare for undoubtedly a very busy season ahead.