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18 Jun 2013

Welsh tourism wants more spas and heritage hotels to boost numbers

BY Tom Anstey

Tourism chiefs in Wales want more luxury, spa and heritage hotels as part of a strategy to boost earnings and bring in another £1bn (US$1.55bn, €1.16bn)

a year by targeting the US, Germany and Ireland.

About £4.5bn (US$7bn, €5.2bn) a year is generate in revenue through tourism in Wales every year.

Partnership for Growth, the Welsh government strategy for tourism up to 2020, has called for more focus to be put on heritage hotels that use historic and distinctive buildings, more luxury and branded hotels as well as more wellbeing facilities such as spas.

The strategy is also looking to bring in more all year-round attractions, activities and experiences.

Between 2009 and 2011, while domestic visitors to Wales increased from 8.89m to 9.69m, visitors travelling from overseas dropped from 991,000 to 879,000.

That being said, while overseas visitors make up just eight percent of annual visitors by number, the contribute 16 per cent towards Welsh tourism income.

UK visitors will still be a focus though as marketing in Wales, London, south-east Midlands and Yorkshire is set to rise.

Economy Minister Edwina Hart described the target as "challenging yet realistic."



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