A drive to push Mid Wales as a tourist destination has been launched at Lake Vyrnwy.

Montgomeryshire AM Russell George presented the future vision for the region to the Welsh Government Minister for Tourism, Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas AM, at the iconic dam on Monday.

He also revealed that the Welsh Government didn’t spend a single penny of its £8.3 million budget on specifically promoting Mid Wales as a tourist destination.

Mr George said: "More tourists than ever before are visiting Mid Wales to see what our wonderful region has to offer - the iconic Lake Vyrnwy, world-renowned heritage sites, beautiful market towns and fantastic mountain ranges.

"It has a countryside other holiday regions in Britain would die for.

“Tourism is a critical driver in economic development and job creation in Mid Wales and I want to see the Welsh Government do more to foster the right conditions for growth in this crucial sector for the Mid Wales economy."

He continued: "I was pleased that Lord Elis-Thomas acknowledged that Mid Wales needs a stronger voice when it comes to promoting its tourism industry and that infrastructure improvements to our road and rail network are essential if the Mid Wales tourism industry is to flourish and reach its full potential."

The meeting was also attended by tourism groups including the Lake Vyrnwy Marketing Association who spoke about their vision for the future.

Mr George added: "Representatives of the industry and I also urged for more progress when it comes to upgrading our digital infrastructure including high speed broadband and reliable mobile signal to ensure that Mid Wales can compete with other tourist hotspots which already have good digital connectivity - things which we take for granted in 2018.

"It will also be essential for both Lake Vyrnwy and the wider Mid Wales tourism industry to be plugged in to the potential Mid Wales Growth Deal.

"A Growth Deal for Mid Wales has the potential to transform the economic fortunes of the region by stimulating inward investment and will see better transport links, better broadband connectivity and other programmes to boost innovation, create higher paid employment and raise living standards.

"It is therefore essential that the tourism industry is involved in early discussions."