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Tourism sector

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Tourists spend around £14 million a day whilst in Wales, amounting to around £5.1 billion a year.
This strategy sets the vision for us and the industry to work in partnership to increase visitor spend to Wales.
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Tourism makes an increasing contribution to the economic and social well-being of Wales.

Tourism has a key role to play in reinforcing a distinctive and compelling national identity for Wales in the UK and internationally as a place to visit, invest in and as a place to do business.

Why tourism important to Wales

Tourism is big business in Wales. Tourist and visitors spend over £13 million a day in Wales.

Our priority sector statistics show that the annual Gross Value Added (GVA) attributable to the Welsh tourism sector is around £2,844 million. These statistics also show that tourism supports about 122,900 jobs in Wales.

In total 10.9 million overnight visits to wales were made during 2014.

Over 90% of these staying visits to Wales were made by UK residents, generating, 84% of all overnight tourism expenditure in Wales. Included in the 10.9 million overnight visits are some 932,000 visits by international visitors, generating a spend of around £368 million in 2014.

The top three countries of origin for international visitors to Wales in 2014 were the Republic of Ireland, France and Germany.

There were also 90 million tourism day visits to Wales made in 2014, generating a spend of £2,677 million.

Key priorities 

We're working with the Tourism Advisory Board to review current tourism expenditure and related activities aligned to our national tourism strategy. 

The new tourism strategy for tourism in Wales ‘Partnership for Growth’ is aimed at driving higher tourism earnings to deliver maximum value for the Welsh economy. The strategy supports the delivery of the following priorities as set out in the Programme for Government:

  • develop tourism activity and niche markets and secure maximum benefit  from major events in our high profile venues
  • promote Wales as a destination by making a high quality tourism offer
  • work to extend the tourism season and associated benefits
  • identify funding opportunities to improve the visitor infrastructure and product in Wales
  • support investment in staff training and management to support a high quality tourism industry.

Priorities and key commitments

Tourism priorities and key commitments as outlined in the Programme for Government are as follows:

  • develop tourism activity and niche markets and secure maximum benefit from major events in our high profile venues.
  • promote Wales as a Destination making a high quality tourism offer
  • work to extend the tourism season and associated benefits
  • identify opportunities to improve visitor infrastructure and product in Wales
  • support investment in staff training and management to support a high quality (tourism) industry
  • use digital technologies to take Wales to the world and bring the world to Wales by establishing a web gateway on what Wales can offer – in terms of tourism, investment, educational opportunities and culture – to the outside world
  • invest in quality tourism businesses and market more effectively Wales’ quality visitor attractions, accommodation and food industry
  • work with national, UK and international sports federations to ensure more major events are hosted in Wales in the future, ensuring that the whole of Wales reaps the benefits of this ambition
  • deliver improvement in rights of way for cyclists and walkers, including legislation establishing duties to provide cycle routes and work to complete the development of the Wales Coast Path
  • further develop St Fagans as a significant cultural attraction and visitor gateway to Wales
  • implement Cadw’s Heritage Tourism Project
  • maintain free admission to Amgueddfa Cymru (National Museum Wales) and National Library of Wales in order to maximise their impact.

Document Download

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Tourism Industry Performance (File size: 904KB)