Office of the Secretary of State for Wales
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Wales is open for business

Wales Office Ministers back Wales Tourism Week

From its adrenalin fuelled mountain bike trails to the historical tales encased in its museums and grand historical architecture, Wales Office Ministers will highlight that Wales is open for business as they mark the start of Wales Tourism Week (22 Feb – 3 March).

Wales Tourism Week 2014 is a week-long celebration of events, showcasing the quality and vibrancy of the visitor experiences and the value the tourism industry brings to the Welsh economy.

The visits come in a year where the eyes of the world will fall on Wales, as the Celtic Manor Resort prepares to host world leaders at the 2014 NATO Summit. The City of Swansea and Carmarthenshire will also pay tribute to its most famous son through a range of commemorations of the Dylan Thomas centenary.

Wales Office Ministers will each mark this year’s Wales Tourism Week celebrations with visits to tourist destinations across the country, and highlight that - in spite of the recent weather conditions - Wales’ is open for tourism business.

Secretary of State for Wales, David Jones said:

Increasing tourism in the UK is a key priority for this Government, and capturing a larger share of the international spend we are attracting is a key challenge for Wales.

The tourism sector makes a vital contribution to the social and economic wellbeing of Wales, and it is crucial that we do all we can to attract visitors from home and overseas to experience our rich culture and deep history.

Last year the tourism economy in Wales is estimated to have contributed £6.9 billion to UK GDP, whilst also supporting over 200,000 jobs in Wales. In the first three quarters of 2013, Wales attracted 702,000 international visitors to its shores, spending £289million.

With a view to promoting some of Wales’ leading tourist attractions to overseas visitors, the Secretary of State will host the Indonesian Ambassador, His Excellency Mr. Teuku Mohammad Hamzah Thayeb on a visit to Chirk Castle in Wrexham during Wales Tourism Week.

They will be hosted by the Property Manager, Shane Logan and the House and Collections Manager who will escort the delegation on a tour of the National Trust property’s state rooms and gardens.

The Secretary of State is currently on a trade visit to Malaysia, meeting with key business leaders to build on existing and new business links, and looking at further opportunities for UK companies and institutions to operate in both regions.

He added:

The Wales Office works hard at home and abroad to promote Wales as a tourist and investment destination.

Following on from the success of the 2012 Olympics we launched the GREAT campaign in 2013 to market Britain at its best in terms of tourism, trade, creativity and investment to the rest of the world. Wales has much to attract visitors and we must ensure that overseas visitors look to us whenever they are planning a trip to the UK.

Wales Office Minister with responsibility for tourism, Baroness Jenny Randerson will visit two leading tourist destinations in the Newport area – highlighting the tourist attractions visiting delegates will be able to see during the NATO Summit later this year.

She will visit the National Roman Legion Museum in Caerleon before being hosted on a tour of 17th century National Trust property Tredegar House by National Trust Director for Wales, Justin Albert.

Baroness Randerson said:

Wales Tourism Week is as much about reminding us of the opportunities on our doorstep as it is about encouraging more visitors to come to Wales.

A key challenge for Wales is capturing a larger share of international tourism spend coming into the UK and it is essential that the UK and Welsh Governments work together to achieve this.

NATO itself will provide a huge opportunity to promote Wales to the world. We must ensure all those who visit leave with a clear message about everything Wales, its people and its impressive landscape have to offer to the global community. I’m delighted to have the opportunity to experience just a snapshot of what visiting delegations will be able to see when they visit Wales this September.

Wales Office Minister, Stephen Crabb will take to the great outdoors as part of his schedule of Wales Tourism Week visits.

Mr Crabb will get on his bike to experience some of the 23 sections of mountain bike trails at BikePark Wales in Merthyr Tydfil.

Opened in August 2013, BikePark Wales is the UK’s first purpose built, large scale commercial mountain trails centre, and is already becoming a major tourism attraction welcoming over 20,000 visitors within the first five months of opening.

The Minister will later take a tour of Penderyn Distillery, Regional Tourism Award winner at the National Tourism Awards for Wales 2013. Set in the foothills of the Brecon Beacons, The Welsh Whisky Company’s Penderyn Distillery has established itself as a genuine Welsh tourist attraction, as well as one of the country’s most successful business exports.

Mr Crabb will take a guided tour of the distillery and meet with the managing director, Stephen Davies.

Wales Office Minister, Stephen Crabb MP said:

Wales Tourism Week provides us with the opportunity to raise awareness of the host of attractions those living in Wales have on their doorsteps.

Whether on two wheels or on foot, we have world class facilities in a wide range of outdoor tourism activities which showcase what Wales has to offer to visitors in its natural environment.

With plenty to do and see both inside and out, we are looking forward to welcoming visitors to Welsh soil all year round.

Notes to Editors

  1. Wales Tourism Week runs from 22 Feb – 02 March 2014

  2. The Wales Tourism Alliance, the voice of the tourism industry in Wales, is coordinating Wales Tourism Week in association with the industry. Wales Tourism Week is held annually to raise the profile of the tourism industry in Wales and to highlight its huge revenue generating value and the opportunities it provides for jobs and careers.

  3. In 2012, VisitBritain launched its biggest, most ambitious tourism marketing programme for 10 years: “GREAT Britain You’re invited”. The campaign is designed to show the world that Britain is open for business; that it’s a great place to visit, to live, and to invest.

  4. Image courtesy of Álvaro Salvá on Flickr (Creative Commons)

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