Huge boost to tourism in 2015

Tuesday 30 June 2015

Official figures published by the Welsh Government show that the tourism industry in Wales had a flying start to the year following a record breaking 2014.

Caernarfon Castle

Caernarfon Castle

The figures for the Great Britain Day Visits survey from January – April, including the Easter holidays, show that 23 million tourism day visits were made by British residents to destinations in Wales during the first quarter of 2015, generating expenditure of £750 million. This expenditure is up 20% on the same period last year and Wales’ share of all tourism day visits made by British residents to destinations in Great Britain in the first four months of 2015 was also up on last year.

The results from the Great Britain Tourism Survey also show 7% increase in overnight stays in Wales from GB visitors during first quarter of 2015 while expenditure is 32% up.  

Figures from sites under the care of Cadw are also showing encouraging signs of growth for early 2015.

Research has recently been carried out by Cadw to gain a better understanding of visitors to its sites during this shoulder season.  The research has shown that 43% of shoulder season visitors are Welsh residents, compared with 24 % in the peak season. The visitor survey also noted that a visit to a Cadw site often exceeds expectations, 66% visitors say their experience at a Cadw attraction was better than what they expected.  These off peak visitors are very satisfied with their experience at Cadw sites with overall visit satisfaction averages 9.0 out of 10.

The importance of knowledgeable staff is apparent as the survey reports that Cadw staff in particular are rated very highly – 9.6 average for friendliness and 9.5 for knowledge of the site which contributes to the visitors’ enjoyment of the site.

Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Ken Skates, said: “Following a record breaking year in 2014 we are working with the industry to sustain these excellent figures.  It is therefore very encouraging that figures from the first quarter are positive, especially as these figures include the Easter period, which is a busy start to the season for the industry. Tourism is in a strong position.  Last year, our UK and Ireland campaign generated £238 million increase in additional expenditure to the Welsh economy, up 36 % on the previous year. Initial results for this year’s campaign are already very promising, showing an 80% increase in unique visitors to visitwales.com during the first quarter of 2015.”

The figures for tourism across Wales can be found on the Statistics and Research section of the Welsh Government website and the research for Cadw can be found on the 2015 visitor research page.