Figures published today show that following two record-breaking years, the tourism industry in Wales has had an encouraging start to the first few months of 2016.
The Great Britain Day Visits Survey reveals that 86 million tourism day visits were made by British residents to destinations in Wales in the 12 months ending June 2016, generating expenditure of £3.2 billion. The volume of trips is up 12 percent in comparison with the 12 months previous, while related expenditure is up 30 percent.
These figures reinforce the findings of the tourism barometer survey for May, which showed that 40 per cent of businesses in the latest survey reported more business in the late May bank holiday/half term period in 2016 compared with the same period in 2015 and a further 45 per cent reported about the same level as in 2015.
Two in five surveyed businesses say that they have seen a rise in profitability to date.
Figures from the Great Britain Tourism Survey which measures overnights stays by GB visitors to Wales shows a mixed picture for the early season. In the12 months May 2015-April 2016, the number of trips to Wales has fallen slightly by 0.9 per cent. However, expenditure on visits to Wales in the 12 months ending in April 2016 has risen by 1.9 per cent.
Accommodation occupancy figures for early summer also look favourable. Over the 12 months ending May 2016, hotel room occupancy in Wales was up by 1 percentage point from the 12 previous months, while room occupancy for guesthouses/B&Bs in Wales was up by 3 percentage points.
The Visit Wales website, Visit Wales.com was another area where there was increased activity, with use in the first six months of 2016 up 6.93% on the previous year.
Cabinet Secretary for the Economy and Infrastructure, Ken Skates, said:
“Tourism in Wales is performing strongly. Expenditure by staying visitors in Wales in 2015 reached record levels of £2.385 billion. This has supported substantial growth in jobs and value added to the Welsh economy and we are now aiming to sustain these levels.
“The industry is on track to achieve the target of 10% real growth of staying visitor earnings by 2020. Although there was a slight decrease in the number of overnight staying visitors from GB, we see that the expenditure, is up which is good news for the economy. We see from the June day visits that there’s been a dramatic increase in both visitors and spend. The industry were feeling confident ahead of the summer season and we’ll take particular interest in how the referendum result and Wales’ increased profile as a result of our success in the Euros impacts on the summer figures.
“The latest phase of our Year of Adventure campaign was revealed recently with the EPIC sign touring the country over the summer which will aim to further boost Wales’ reputation as a place for epic adventures this summer during our Year of Adventure.”