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William Wilkins
These projects are doing such good for Wales
 real 56k

Saturday, 9 December, 2000, 18:37 GMT
Tourism winners are honoured
National Botanic Garden of Wales in Carmarthenshire
Over 180,000 people have visited the centre
A multi-million pound Millennium garden project and a hotel resort are joint winners of Wales's top tourism award.

The creator of the National Botanic Garden of Wales in Carmarthenshire and the team behind the Celtic Manor Resort at Newport jointly won the top prize from the Wales Tourist Board.

Garden creator William Wilkins CBE received his award at a ceremony in Cardiff on Friday.

His award was for being the inspiration and driving force behind one of the great tourism success stories of the Millennium - the 44m National Botanic Garden at Llanarthne.

wilkins
Carden creator William Wilkins picked up his award
And the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport was held up as an outstanding example to the industry.

Exacting process

First Minister Rhodri Morgan said it had been impossible to pick between the two for their incredible efforts which have changed the face of the industry.

Sponsored by the Wales Tourist Board, the awards were hosted by Welsh celebrities Sian Lloyd and Stifyn Parry in a ceremony at the National Museum of Wales.

WTB chairman Phil Evans said finding the winners had been a very exacting process.

"The judges have lived on the doorsteps of the 300 competitors who entered the awards," said Mr Evans.

Since its opening in May the National Botanic Garden has attracted over 180,000 visitors.

Once a 17 bedroom hotel, The Celtic Manor has been transformed through the backing of Welsh entrepreneur Terry Matthews into a 400 bedroom complex.

The resort also hope to be selected for the venue of one of the top sporting events in the golfing world, the Ryder Cup in 2009.

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See also:

06 Nov 00 | Wales
Botanic garden project blossoms
06 Nov 00 | Wales
Troubled arts centre closes
24 May 00 | Wales
Botanic garden proves a hit
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