£50m Welsh Tourist Village Plan to Attract Chinese Market
Thursday, 24th November 2011Local jobs and business opportunities for Welsh building services firms and as plans are announced for a luxury £50m tourist village in rural south west Wales to be built to attract the lucrative Chinese tourism market. China-based Maxhard Ltd wants to build a 100-bed hotel and 80 holiday homes with a swimming pool on a 22-acre site (9 hectares) in Carmarthenshire. The development, near to the end of the M4 near Llandeilo, would be marketed to a "select international clientele" and would also feature shops and a car park, would provide up to 70 full-time jobs, it is claimed. The Welsh government has been keen to forge links with China, resulting in First Minister Carwyn Jones making his first official visit last month along with representatives from Welsh industry and education. The National Botanic Garden of Wales, at nearby Llanarthne, was also in China showcasing what it had to offer at an international garden event. An agreement was signed with the Chinese municipality of Chongqing and a reception was held to promote Wales as a business location with the Welsh government looking to establish a direct air route from China to Wales to improve business opportunities. Carwyn Jones said at the time, "The UK and China have agreed to double the amount they trade by $100bn by 2015, and I am here to make sure Wales benefits from this. Our aim as a government is to continue raising the profile of Wales in China." China was Wales' ninth largest trading partner in 2009, accounting for £162m in Welsh exports. In 2010, this figure grew by 42%, to £230m. Maxhard, which has offices in London and China, said it would be a "luxurious development for a select international clientele looking to enjoy a tranquil Welsh retreat". Councillor Clive Scourfield, Carmarthenshire County Council member with responsibility for regeneration, gave the plans a caution welcome saying the investment and the jobs were needed in the area although the plans affected a rural area.