The bosses of an expanding holiday park in Powys have warned that a tourism levy in Wales could be akin to "shooting ourselves in the foot".

MS James Evans visited Rockbridge Country Park to meet owner Glenn Jones amid talks over the implementation of a visitor levy by the Welsh Government.

The pair debated the subject of sustainable tourism and how the visitor levy may impact the popular Radnorshire site.

“It's important to visit businesses like this in my constituency,” said the Brecon and Radnorshire MS.


“The tourism industry is a key part of the economy in Brecon and Radnor, but also across Wales. We have to ensure places are available for visitors to come and enjoy our countryside. A lot of the tourism businesses bring in a lot of employment.”

The tourism levy, which the Welsh Government are proposing, will give local authorities the power to decide how they want to introduce it.

No costs have been decided yet, and the Welsh Government say that measures are unlikely to come into force for several years, if they are approved by the Senedd.

“We’d be shooting ourselves in the foot by taxing things that bring in income,” said Mr Jones.

“If you get day visitors, they won't pay. They'll use the facilities and then leave. Whereas people on holiday will eat at local restaurants, support the area and boost the economy. But then they're going to get penalised. We don't like the tax.”

County Times: Oswestry Advertizer readers can subscribe for just £3 for 3 months in this flash sale

Meanwhile, work is well underway for 23 new holiday home lodges at the park, which is a mile outside Presteigne on the B4356.

Mr Jones hopes that he can find a way for the park to be better linked to the town. He said: “Rockbridge Park has a beautiful setting, one mile away from Presteigne.

“They get business from us, but they'd get so much more if we had safe access from our park to the town. The road is dangerous and very narrow.”

He would love to see a pavement implemented, while Mr Evans is instead keen to improve current infrastructure.

“With the climate crisis we have at the minute, we need to ensure people have a way to walk and use bikes in a safe way," he said.

"The infrastructure of the roads isn't wide enough for pavement.

“How we will do it will be difficult, and I don't think we will see pavement along the road.

“I'd love to see it happen, but with the financial footprint that the council and the Welsh Government have, I don't see that happening in the future.

“Are there ways in which a footpath can be upgraded to encourage people to walk, to cycle? That's the way we can do it.

“Improving existing infrastructure that's here, rather than putting new in. I'd much rather people walk around the countryside and link it back to the town as well.”

Being the shadow minister for mental health, Mr Evans is keen to stress the importance of getting out into the Welsh countryside.

County Times:  Brecon and Radnor MS James Evans, with Rockbridge Country Park owner Glenn Jones Brecon and Radnor MS James Evans, with Rockbridge Country Park owner Glenn Jones (Image: None)

“Going out for a walk in the countryside improves mental health,” he added.

“I think we need to find better ways to get people out and about. You're not in the hustle and bustle of the city. You can come here and listen to the river and the birds and have fresh air in your lungs.

“I've been open about my own struggles with my mental health and I find going for a walk helps me relax.

“We need to encourage people to use our countryside and make it more accessible, so people can enjoy the countryside, enjoy life and enjoy being alive.”

Rockbridge Park, which has lodges for sale, encourages people to visit the area to truly unwind. To find out more, visit