Coast path boost takes the biscuit
11:47am Thursday 7th February 2013 in Letters
Dear Editor, Talk about "lies, damn lies and statistics" ! Your article headlined "Coast path provides a huge economic boost" [5/2] really takes the biscuit.
The Wales Economic Research Unit report states " "Visitor volumes on the Wales Coast Path show that Ceredigion topped the local area with 131,774 visitors, compared to Pembrokeshire's 102,721 and Carmarthenshire's 19,537 " in the year up to August 2012.
So, the 63 mile Ceredigion Coast Path has already outstripped the much longer 186 mile long "world-famous" , long-established , Pembrokeshire Coast National Park footpath by about 30 per cent in its first year !!?? Marvellous !! That is completely illogical ! So is the "fact" that 6.7 times the number walked the Ceredigion coast as walked that of Carmarthenshire .
Then, incredibly, " research indicates that 2.89 MILLION used the Wales Coast Path over the period and estimates that the path attracted 1.6 million day visitors and 835,000 overnight stays". Goebbels would have been proud of this report .
It is pure guesswork, fabrication.....and political spin ! . As they say " He who pays the piper calls the tune!" and the Welsh Government are paying for a report to suit them with "facts" supplied by counties who are trying to impress [or not] with varying degrees of honesty.
The truth is that huge sections of the so-called "Wales Coast Path" have existed for decades.....so they are not "new".... and it is not only the credit-grabbing "Wales Coast Path" that attracts people to the Welsh coast. What about our beaches , scenery, wildlife and the privately owned caravan parks, holiday cottages and tourist attractions etc that spend a fortune on marketing ?
If Dai and Blodwen from Cwmtwrch [Upper not Lower] ,who have owned a caravan at Helyg Fach, Tresaith for 30 years, walked the cliff path to Tresaith twice a day [four lengths] over a fortnight's holiday, Ceredigion County Council would no doubt claim that Dai and Blodwen were " 112 visitors " [ 2 people x 4 walks x 14 days], attracted by them to the " marvellous NEW Ceredigion Coast Path" ......... whilst Dai and Blod have been doing the same walk every summer for 30 years !!
Minister, John Griffiths , is a solicitor, but he grabs at this invented "spin" with both hands to claim personal "success" in a year when Welsh tourism actually suffered due to poor weather and the Olympics. He also claims that Wales is the "first country in the world to have a continuous path along our coastline " , whilst the the Wales Coast Path actually leaves the coast to cut inland in over 300 locations.
However, maps proving this have since been removed from the internet, as has the Ceredigion County Council map of the Dyfi Estuary, because the "coast" path passes three miles inland of the coast ,south of Borth Bog, nowhere near the coast.
Yours faithfully, Lyn Jenkins, Cardigan Island Coastal Farm Park, Gwbert, Cardigan.