Pictured above: David Main's Tallizmand Guest House.
Tallizmand Guest House, Llanmadoc, Gower, just minutes from the centre of Swansea, Wales and 30 minutes from Cardiff International Airport.
That is, once they do a little online research and compare the hotel prices in 'pick-pocket' over-priced London to the family-friendly bargains of pastoral Bread-and-Breakfast Wales.
My septuagenarian Mom and her athletically active band of world-roaming retirees and semi-retirees, ('Grandmas in Nike trainers with cameras and credit cards', as I call them) have only a few questions about tourist destinations like Wales:
1) Are there plenty of clean, well-identified restrooms?
2) Is it safe to carry a purse?
3) Is the breakfast included and is it 'All you can eat?' (even though these ladies eat like birds, they like value)
4) How many steps are there?
5) Can I 'Google' it?
And tourism is Big Business now in Wales according to the Western Mail:
'We’re growing up as a tourism destination'
Jun 20 2007 by Paul Rowland, Western Mail
"Nearly 10 million tourists came to Wales from other parts of the UK last year, with a further 1.1 million coming from overseas, according to the UK Tourism Survey."
"The report – the first of its kind – found that £1.6bn was spent by domestic visitors in 2006, with a further £358m contributed by overseas visitors."
"Another £1.3bn was added to the total by people visiting Wales for the day, according to Visit Wales, the Assembly Government’s tourism wing."
"Experts last night attributed the upturn in the fortunes of the Welsh tourism industry to a more sophisticated marketing approach."
Comparing Wales to other destinations:
In the mid 1980s I was appointed Director of Marketing for a then burgeoning, million dollar computer 'Dot.com' company in Fort Lauderdale, also home to the famous teenage six-week fiasco called 'Spring Break'.
My partner and I, tired of cold winters, happily moved our designer Boston furnishings into a cheap, beachside bungalow right behind the bikini boutique strip.
Being sober workaholics who preferred a good night's sleep, I have to now ask, "What were we thinking?"
'Spring Break' started in the 1950s with iconic films 'Gidget' (1959, 1965), and Elvis Presley-style beach blanket romance movies like 'Where the Boys Are' (1969).
By 1980 the Spring Break had declined into a local merchant / local police nightmare of cheap 'wet T-shirt contests', record public intoxication arrests, tawdry nightclubs and drug overdose-related deaths.
Our tourism board in Ft. Lauderdale decided to 're-brand' with a 'more sophisticated marketing approach' called "Diamonds, Yachts and Caviar".
The idea was, if we got rid of the six-week teenage mob, we would attract the monied 'Baby Boomer' retirees year-round.
And if we made it affordable and romantic the tourism gurus told us, we would attract rich weirdos, followed by the country club and golf set, cash-flush retirees, and honeymooners /second honeymooners, too.
It was a gamble, but it worked. Making Fort Lauderdale's beach wheel-chair accessible was not only mandated by law, it was good business: the college budget motels have been replaced with glittering condo-hotels and golf/marina resorts.
David Main, who owns the beautiful Tallizmand Guest House, located on the breath-takingly beautiful Gower peninsula in South Wales, pictured above, says that he prefers the mature customer:
“We’ve just revamped the place and added another storey, and the feedback we’ve had from customers has been exceptional, which is very pleasing."
“It’s mainly middle-aged people we have here – walkers, birdwatchers, a few young people who want to go mountain biking, and quite a lot of overseas people."
“Just last week we had a very nice couple from New Zealand staying here, so it’s quite a variety of people. It’s because there is a huge variety of things to do here. It’s very easy to get here and to get away, and there are a lot of alternative activities to do when the weather is not so good."
“I’d say the average length of stay is around three to four days. Most people come for a weekend break, and it tends to be the more mature people who come for a week."
“That suits us because we’re trying to get away from the one-night stopovers – it’s a lot of work for not much return.”
So is the future of tourism in Wales not in backpacks and rough guides, but in "Diamonds, Yachts and Caviar?"
Either way, Wales is still a tremendous value to dollar-carrying Welsh relatives of mine, who prefer 'friendly hometown' Wales to rushed and dirty Heathrow and London.
If you're planing a visit to Wales this summer or autumn, we recommend the DVD
'Magic Islands And Harbours - Wales At It's Magnificent Best'
At Welsh American Family Genealogy, we believe there’s no better ‘Empty Nest’ activity than researching your Welsh family history and creating a legacy for future generations. You don’t have to be rich to leave behind an enduring heritage for your children and heirs.
What’s important is that you use the time wisely. If you would like to simulate your mind each day and stay young through constructive activities, than genealogy might be right for you!
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