The tourism industry in Wales is facing the equivalent of three winters in a row, according to the Welsh Government.

The Finance Minister said she is "particularly concerned" after hearing how the coronavirus pandemic has impacted businesses in the industry.

Tourism is estimated to be worth £3 billion to the Welsh economy.

It comes as the Welsh Government has urged people to stay away from tourist destinations and beauty spots while lockdown rules remain in place in Wales.

Popular tourist spots such as Pen y Fan have been closed to the public during the pandemic. Credit: PA Images

Nearly one in ten people in Wales work in tourism, with record numbers of UK visitors to Wales over the last five years, according to the Welsh Government.

Rebecca Evans MS, Finance and Minister for Wales, said: "I'm particularly concerned about the tourism industry here in Wales, I'd like to see the level of funding through the Job Retention Scheme continue at a high level for that sector.

"They're telling us that they're basically facing the equivalent of three winters in a row, which is obviously concerning for business.

"The UK Government I think has done really well with the Job Retention Scheme, that's something that we very much support.

"But I think looking forward it's really important that they consider the needs of Wales in that.

"We rely very heavily at the moment on the Job Retention Scheme, so it would be really unfortunate if it were to end in a way, which didn't, for example, give people the flexibility to come back on a part-time basis."

Police have been patrolling Barry Island beach where the stay at home message is still in force and only essential travel is allowed. Credit: PA Images

Tourism bosses for the UK have called for an extra bank holiday in October to help to extend the season beyond the usual summer months to allowing the industry to scrape back some of the lost revenue.

But Downing Street said extra bank holidays “come with economic costs”.

Patricia Yates, acting chief executive at Visit Britain, said 2020 has to be the “year of domestic tourism” but there will be a serious challenge in convincing people it is safe to travel.

Prior to the coronavirus pandemic there were big plans to develop Wales' tourism industry.

In January the Welsh Government launched a five-year plan to spend £60m on improving the sector.

It said the value of domestic tourism grew by 14 per cent last year.

Read more: