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Staycations lead to a busy summer for Welsh tourism
Latest Welsh Government research shows that the Tourism Industry in Wales had a very successful summer with 84% businesses reporting that they were busier - or as busy - as in our record breaking year in 2015.
The main reason given for being busier was that more British people stayed in the UK over the summer.
The Wales Tourism Business Barometer Survey, published yesterday, is a survey of 922 tourism business across every sector in Wales and provides an insight into how the peak summer months compare with last year.
The increased visitor levels have been seen across all industry sectors and regions of Wales. In particular, caravan and campsites have had an excellent period, with two in three (67%) reporting being up on visitors compared to last summer. Some fine weather and more British people staying in the UK are thought to have combined to make a successful summer for this sector.
Following a good summer, 84% of respondents said that they were feeling very confident or fairly confident about the season ahead.
When questioned about the impact of Brexit on tourism, 67% of businesses said that it had no impact on their business to date, but the general consensus was that the full impact remains to be seen. Some feedback indicated that the weaker pound could present an opportunity for the industry, but some also reported concerns about loss of funding which tourism has received from the EU in the past.
Cabinet Secretary for the Economy and Infrastructure, Ken Skates, said:
“It’s fantastic news that this snapshot of the peak summer months gives a positive picture of how things have been for the industry, it seems that uncertainty has led to more staycations and that the fair weather also provided a boost for the industry.
“The tourism barometer is just one measure of tourism performance and gives an indication of industry confidence after the busy summer season.
“Overall, tourism in Wales is performing strongly and the industry is on track to achieve the target of 10% real growth of staying visitor earnings by 2020. This growth is supporting jobs and value added to the Welsh economy and we are now aiming to sustain these levels.”
Justin Baird Murray, Chairman of British Hospitality Association Cymru, said the figures reflected the investment, invention and innovation of hospitality businesses in every part of Wales.
"Marketing and delivery are the two driving forces behind industry sustainability and this summer hotel businesses have delivered fantastic experiences for visitors even though pricing continues to be highly competitive, we have one of the highest VAT rates in Europe and an ever increasing cost base.
We employ 125,000 people in Wales and many more local concerns depend on our businesses for their incomes so we will be working with Welsh Government to maximise 2017 marketing and get any help we can to limit costs and boost employment to build on this year's positive trends."
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