How summer in one of Wales' most popular staycation spots will look this year

  • Jess Main finds out how businesses in Tenby are preparing for a busy summer

It is set to be a summer like no other in Wales as more Covid restrictions are lifted and people are able to enjoy more freedoms than ever since the start of the pandemic.

Pembrokeshire is gearing up for a busy tourist season as fewer families decide to go abroad and opt instead for a holiday in the UK.

It is no surprise that Pembrokeshire's stunning coastline make it an attractive place for a staycation, but as people descend on this tourist hotspot, can it cope with such high demand?

Tenby typically sees the population grow from 6,000 to 70,000 during the summer Credit: ITV Wales

In Tenby, a normal summer sees its population swell from 6,000 to around 70,000.

But this year, they are expecting numbers to far exceed that.

As the town busies itself for an unprecedented summer, there are concerns that staff shortages coupled with increasing demand could cause problems.

Bakery owner Sarah Bolwell believes people have moved from hospitality into other sectors since the pandemic.

She said, "There just doesn't seem to be the staff that there would usually be.

"Usually we'd see droves of people coming back from university that we'd be able to hire but they're not there.

"I also think that a lot of people who were in hospitality, and perhaps have been furloughed, have gone off and got other jobs."

Sarah believes people who left hospitality during the pandemic have moved on to other sectors Credit: ITV WALES

Sarah knows the next few weeks will be chaotic, but is hopeful that the tourist season will present an opportunity to make up for lost revenue.

"I do think that this period will be pretty off the charts for businesses in Tenby," she said.

"We're here for it and for the most part we're ready for it.

"We need the public to play their part and be understanding that we are doing everything we possibly can give everybody the good time that they need."

  • Dean Thomas-Welch looks at Pembrokeshire's sustainable tourism

Sustainable tourism is part of Pembrokeshire's plans to make it a distinctive destination and set it apart from other parts of the UK.

In Boncath, Jane O'Brien runs an eco-friendly campsite that attracts visitors concerned about their impact on the environment.

The site is completely off-grid, with no electricity, mains gas or flushing toilets. All power is taken from solar panels and materials taken sustainably from the land.

Jane says 90% of customers come because of their eco-friendly credentials Credit: ITV Wales

This type of environmentally friendly getaway is something that Jane has seen increase in popularity and, like most in the tourist industry, she is expecting demand to soar this year.

She said: "Ten years ago, probably about 5% of our customers came to us because we were an eco-friendly site.

"Now it's more like 90%.

"We needed to do this with nature in mind and not increase our carbon footprint to provide holiday accommodation."

But some visitors to Pembrokeshire are not as conscientious - and as more and more people look set to come to enjoy its unspoiled scenery there are fears on the impact of tourists on the landscape.

A surge in visitors to Pembrokeshire's beaches means nearby carparks are regularly full to capacity Credit: ITV Wales

The National Trust manage many of the natural attractions of the area, but increasing amounts of visitors are causing difficulties.

Rhian Sula said, "It's wonderful to see so many people coming to Pembrokeshire and enjoying the wonderful coastline.

"But our carparks are getting busy, pretty much full to capacity.

"People really want to go to the beach so they're just parking their cars in any layby or in front of farmer's fields and gates.

"The message that we want to get across is if the carpark's full please come back another time"

"Who needs to go abroad?"

For Hannah Gange and Wayne Tristram a holiday in Pembrokeshire is the perfect getaway and they have been holidaying with their children in the area for the past week.

They usually go to Spain but swapped it this year for Saundersfoot.

Hannah said: "We couldn't have timed it better really!

"It's nice to show the kids a different side of Pembrokeshire."

Read more: