Journey author Simon Calder has ‘no additional plans’ to go to Wales after abuse

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Simon Calder said the intensity of the comments was “off the scales”.

A travel writer said he received “such violent abuse” when suggesting visiting Wales that he had “no further plans” to book a stay in the country.

Simon Calder spoke about ITV’s This Morning earlier this week, listing Gwynedd and Ceredigion, and Belfast and Edinburgh as places people could go.

But he said he then received a stream of abuse via email and social media.

Visit Wales said it was trying to “safely” welcome people back.

In an article for The Independent, Mr Calder said he had responded to many of the hundreds of people who posted messages on social media and understood the deep concerns about the spread of the coronavirus, but had no intention of booking a vacation to Wales again .

“Anyone lucky enough to have a public platform is clearly right that people react how they want, and I welcome the feedback,” he said.

“The intensity of negative comments was of a magnitude that I have not experienced, completely off-scale.”

Mr Calder said he had never intended to upset anyone and followed travel advice, but it was an “interesting lesson” about current sensitivities.

He added: “The hundreds of people I have accidentally pissed off can be happy to hear that I have no further plans to book a stay in Wales.

“I wanted to inspire travelers to responsibly enjoy a part of the UK that is rich in wonders, and I hoped that their visits would in turn support local businesses.”

Much of South and North Wales is subject to local lockdown restrictions as 15 of Wales’ 22 local authorities as well as the town of Llanelli are inaccessible.

However, Prime Minister Boris Johnson declined to ban people from leaving areas in England with high Covid-19 cases to visit Welsh beauty spots.

This prompted the Welsh government to state that it would consider quarantine measures for people entering Wales via Covid hotspots in the UK.

Counties of Gwynedd, Ceredigion, Powys, Anglesey and Pembrokeshire are currently not subject to lockdown restrictions, which means people from England can visit.

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Ian Capper / Geographer

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Aberystwyth has also been referred to as one of the “easy” destinations in Wales

Mr. Calder called Gwynedd – via Machynlleth, Aberystwyth, and other coastal towns – a great idea for a vacation.

He told the ITV program, “My absolute top tip, you could stop in the beautiful town of Machynlleth, which has some great outdoor attractions like the Center for Alternative Technology that I just love and of course you can go there Aberystwyth and all the resorts, Barmouth and Harlech all the way to beautiful Pwllheli.

“So Wales is easy.”

He said he “agreed” with Visit Wales’ claim that areas of the country were “good to go”.

Earlier this week, people said they were concerned about an “influx” of tourists after TV personality Stacey Solomon posted photos on social media of a vacation in Rhayader, Powys.

A spokesman for the Welsh Government said: “We expect all visitors to Wales to respect the area they have chosen and respect local restrictions.

“It is well documented that the first minister wrote to the Prime Minister asking him to stop people traveling to Wales from areas of England with high rates of coronavirus infection – but he has not yet received a response.”

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