Visit Wales will attend SeaTrade Cruise Global from the 13-16 March in order to raise Wales’ profile as a cruise and water sports destination.
Cruise is big business for Wales and is worth nearly £3 million to the Welsh economy - 2017 will see 89 cruise calls to Wales with 37,000 passengers and 15,000 crew - an increase in calls of 33% year on year.
Previous attendance at the SeaTrade event has secured further business from new cruise lines who wish to visit Wales.
For the 2017 event, Visit Wales will be promoting the arrival of the Volvo Ocean Race along with Year of the Sea in 2018. Cardiff has been chosen as the destination for the first Volvo Ocean Race transatlantic leg to the United Kingdom in 12 years when the world’s leading offshore race makes its debut visit to Wales in 2018. This around the world yacht race is held every three years and is widely regarded as one of the most challenging endurance events of its kind. The cruise ship market is big business for Wales – and Cruise Wales and partners are working hard to grow the market. An increasing number of visitors from Germany are coming to south west Wales through cruise ships docking at Swansea, Milford Haven Port, Pembroke and Fishguard. Following Tourism Investment Support Scheme funding for the floating pontoon at Fishguard to allow larger vessels to anchor, Fishguard calls have increased from 5 in 2015 to 31 for 2017. Cabinet Secretary for the Economy and Infrastructure, Ken Skates, said:
“The cruise market has been highlighted in the tourism strategy for Wales as one way of growing the tourism industry in Wales by 10% by 2020 and Cruise is one of the fastest growing sectors year on year. We are working with many outside stakeholders and are looking at various infrastructure developments for cruise. SeaTrade gives us a great opportunity to keep Wales front of mind with cruise liners, travel agents and partners and to promote Wales as a new product. The arrival of the Volvo Ocean Race also gives a great platform to talk about what Wales has to offer – but also to promote next year’s Cardiff stopover to an important US audience.”