Sam Rowlands, MS for North Wales and Shadow Minister for Local Government was speaking in the Senedd, during a debate on small businesses and tourism.
The motion included calls for the Welsh Government to work with designated stakeholders to work together on an economic recovery plan after Covid.
Mr Rowlands said he was delighted to see cross party support during the debate which also called on the Welsh Government to work with representatives of the small business and tourism community to promote Wales as a year round holiday destination.
He said: “As we all know the tourism industry is vital to Wales's economic prosperity. For me in North Wales and for the region I represent, it employs around 40,000 people, contributes around £3.5 billion a year to the local economy and, as such, it is really welcome, the cross-party focus and support for the sector.
“The pressures in this sector from the COVID-19 pandemic haven't gone away and they are still there. It was this time last year when there were real pressures and we are talking about nearly 100% of businesses within the tourism and hospitality sector having to close for a prolonged period of time, with around 80% of staff being furloughed.
“Now is the time for Welsh Government to work with representatives of the small business and tourism community to promote Wales as a tourism destination all year round. Attracting a new audience, a new group of customers into Wales, is a huge opportunity over this summer and years to come.”
Mr Rowlands reminded members of several tourist attraction in North Wales which were year-round destinations.
“It was really good to see the Penderyn whisky distillery open up in Llandudno, an indoor attraction in a seaside resort, which actually allows an all-year-round visitor attraction. Similarly, Surf Snowdonia or Adventure Parc Snowdonia down the Conwy Valley.
“I certainly welcome Welsh Government's support, in collaboration with the UK Government, working on the economic ambition board in North Wales. For example, there's a tourism academy proposed to be built and the skills needed in the tourism sector are really important, if we upskill that area, we'll create better jobs, better quality tourism attractions, which, in turn, creates a stronger economy for that sector.”
Mr Rowlands also called for a real clear roadmap through the summer and beyond for tourism businesses, a review of social distancing measures and support for recruitment in the industry.