Cyngor Gwynedd Council, UK

The development of a regenerative tourism model linking the ecomuseum to the value of the local heritage, language and culture.

Region: Wales


Type of organisation leading the larger local innovation ecosystem

Public authority

Gwynedd County Council is a Local Authority in the northwest of Wales. Tourism is an important economic activity within Gwynedd.

Main challenges related to cultural tourism

Historically the area has benefited from seasonal tourism (mainly in the summer months), providing employment opportunities for local people in an area that has seen a decline in heavy industry such as quarrying.

As the tourism season has lengthened, the demands on infrastructure, roads, water, housing and medical services has also increased, and the main honey pot areas have become full beyond capacity during the summer months and school holidays.

This can have a negative effect on the natural environment as tourists are always looking for new experiences and to get away from the crowds.

For Cyngor Gwynedd being part of the Be.CULTOUR Community means that we can collaborate with other regions all over Europe to develop a sustainable tourism model for our communities

Current strategic planning

Regional projects deliver the wider objectives identified in the Welcome to Wales Priorities for the Visitor Economy 2020 – 2025 document: developing a regenerative tourism model will highlight, celebrate, value and promote the knowledge and skills that exist within the region.

Ideas and future perspectives

The regenerative tourism model that we are aspiring to develop will value the presence of heritage, language, culture and the natural landscape within the tourism offer, linking the Celtic saints and their routes to present day pilgrims who walk through iconic, high-value coastal landscapes along the Wales Coast Path, but are also looking for the authentic cultural experiences during their visit.

Linking the core ecomuseum sites and their surroundings will further develop the four-season offer that is essential in creating sustainable, full-time quality jobs within the tourism and hospitality sector.

Cultural heritage asset description

Ecomuseum in Pen Llŷn

The strategic locations of the Ecomuseum sites around the coast of the region, each with its unique offer highlighting the living marine, environmental, artistic (visual and performing arts), and linguistic heritage, should encourage more people to visit these heritage assets out of the main holiday season, bringing added economic benefits and developing interest and cultural awareness within the local community.

Augmented reality products will also open the experience to those who might not physically be able to participate and bring Wales and Pen Llŷn to a global audience. The Ecomuseum will share learning opportunities with other regenerative tourism projects being developed in the region.

Type of cultural heritage


Specific goal related to the selected asset

To bring back the learning to Pen Llŷn, to catalyse actions and further innovation that will strengthen the links between the Ecomuseum and the wider local environment. The walking offer provides a steady stream of visitors during and out of the main holiday season to the region. Providing better information for people who utilise this resource through the use of digital apps and Augmented Reality can improve the visitor experience and open the door to information about the natural environment and the culture and heritage of the region.

Europeanisation: linkages between local heritage and European history and culture

The link between the Celtic saints who set up churches along the coast of Wales travelled extensively around the countries of northwest Europe and had churches in Ireland, Scotland, Cornwall, Brittany in France and Northern Spain. Many towns and villages carry the names of these saints today, and the indigenous people who still live and work in these communities today have a linguistic link back to these early Christians.

European and international Cultural Heritage recognition(s)

  • Unesco designation Llechi Cymru / Welsh Slate
  • The North Wales Pilgrims Route that finishes at the tip of the Llŷn Peninsula is known as the ‘Welsh Camino’
  • The Llŷn Coastline has Heritage Coast status that recognises its cultural importance and provides protection linked to planning issues within the designation
  • The Wales Coast Path – The Llŷn Peninsula is recognised for being one of the most striking and varied sections of the Wales Coast Path

Ongoing projects and best practices

  • LIVE, Wales– Ireland INTERREG project
  • Ecoamgueddfa Llŷn: Our home, your destination – a UK Government/Cyngor Gwynedd Shared Prosperity Fund project (following on from LIVE, Wales-Ireland INTERREG project)
    The @Ecoamgueddfa is the first Ecomuseum in Wales. 

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