NEWS: Wales seeks slick PR to counter oily beaches image

The holiday industry in south Wales is turning to the PR professionals to bring back the tourists in the aftermath of the Sea Empress oil spill.

The holiday industry in south Wales is turning to the PR professionals

to bring back the tourists in the aftermath of the Sea Empress oil

spill.



Tourism South West Wales, the regional tourist board for Pembrokeshire,

Camarthenshire and the south Wales coastal regions, will appoint a PR

agency this week to help attract more visitors to the area.



Three firms out of an initial seven have been shortlisted for the job -

Lowe Bell Good Relations, Golley Slater and Media House. The contract

carries an annual budget of pounds 50,000, most of which is expected to

be fees.



TSWW’s managing director Peter Cole, who is leading the agency search,

said the organisation was looking for a company ‘to create a positive

image for south-west Wales.’



He added that the work would be mainly media relations led, and targeted

at family holidaymakers and daytrippers from the West Midlands and the

south-west of England.



The south coast of Wales hit the headlines in February when the Sea

Empress oil tanker ran aground off Milford Haven, spilling 75,000 tons

of crude oil into Camarthen Bay. Although the disaster’s impact on

tourism has yet to be assessed, the Oil Pollution Compensation Fund is

expected to pay up to pounds 10 million for the damage done to the

industry.



Cole said that the winning agency would combat media images of oil

coated beaches while capitalising on the attention given to the area

during the disaster. ‘We have an opportunity to show what we are really

about,’ he said.



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