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Running a tourism business

Information about setting up a new tourism business or operating an existing tourism business.

Starting a new business

Business Wales delivers a range of free and subsidised services on behalf of the Welsh Government, to get your start-up idea off to a flying start or to help with business plans and funding opportunities for your project. Visit for more information.


Before you start any work, contact our planning department for advice on planning permission and a pre-application visit. 

This is particularly important if you are considering starting a new business, converting or extending your premises. Even if you only wish to start offering simple B&B in your home, or to equip an existing building as a holiday cottage where no structural alterations to the property are necessary, you may still need 'change of use' planning permission to do so.

You can contact the planning department on 01792 635701 or email

Access statements 

Producing an access statement is a mandatory element of the Visit Wales grading process for tourism businesses. A factsheet has been produced by Visit WalesOpens new window to help businesses in all sectors of the tourism industry ensure that visitors have reliable information when deciding whether or not a place is suitable for them.

Brown and white road signs

The City and County of Swansea has adopted a formal policy for businesses to follow if they wish to apply for brown and white tourism signage. 

Firstly, applications are assessed against basic tourism criteria to establish whether the applicant is eligible, for example is it graded, do they attract a minimum number of visitors per year, do they have adequate facilities to accommodate large numbers, etc. All tourism businesses need to demonstrate that signage will be used to help direct people to the location rather than to promote their business.

If the business fulfils the criteria from a tourism perspective, it is then passed on to the highways team for assessment. They will look at different elements that may affect whether the business is eligible for signage, for example if the highway can accommodate signage, how many signs may be required, etc. If a business is successful at both stages, they will receive a formal quote for the signs. Applicants are required to cover all costs involved with acquiring the signs including a £100 non-refundable administration fee and any future maintenance.

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