Would you travel to Wales?

By | Category: Travel destinations

I ask the question because last week Visit Britain published provisional 2011 figures for international tourism to the UK. It showed that Wales received just 880,000 visitors which is roughly what it was the year before.
So what was the effect of the Ryder Cup being held in Wales? Holiday visits were up 8% in 2011 so something else must have declined. But will this Ryder Cup effect (if that is what it is) survive into 2012?
Whatever the answer, the appeal of Wales doesn’t look good. Is that because Visit Wales hasn’t been sending much on promotion, (it blew a good chunk of its budget on the Ryder Cup) other countries have been more aggressive in their marketing or just that Wales doesn’t appeal?
London gets about fifteen million international visitors each year. Cardiff got just 291,000. (Visit Britain means visitors from outside the UK not the number from outside Wales) which ranked it twelfth in the list of cities or areas. A capital city with a castle, a national museum, a bay, an architectural delight in the Millennium Centre as well as countless other attractions drew fewer people than Brighton & Hove or Leeds. Now I am not decrying those cities but they are not national capitals. Edinburgh had 1.3 million international visitors, about one-and-a-half times more visitors than the whole of Wales gets.
In Scotland, the Grampian area got 27% more visitors and they didn’t have the benefit of the Ryder Cup so what did they do to achieve that that Wales didn’t?
Incidentally, the latest figures from Visit Britain are being spun as showing that more travellers are visiting industrial cities. Could that because those visitors are business people and work is taking them there?
So, are you considering a holiday in Wales this year?

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