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Last Updated: Friday, 11 July, 2003, 12:48 GMT 13:48 UK
Wales bathes in summer sun
girls sunbathing
Thousands of people headed to Britain's parks and beaches
Some of the hottest weather of the year brought out holidaymakers across Wales, giving tourism a boost this weekend.

Temperatures on Sunday soared up to a scorching 31C in Aberystwyth, which saw the country's warmest sunshine.

It sent thousands of sun-seekers to beaches, the countryside and summer events around Wales.

That is expected to have meant a fillip for the tourist sector.

Attractions

Visitor centres reported healthy numbers and there was a great turnout at the International Food and Drink Festival in Cardiff Bay, where weekend visitor numbers were expected to reach 25,000.

girls subth
Tenby is a regular draw for sun-worshippers
The capital basked in 30C temperatures, according to the Met Office, while Swansea enjoyed 28C rays, Milford Haven was blessed with 23C sunshine and Anglesey peaked at 25C.

Monday is set to be just as hot, as many day-trippers return to work, but with the risk of thundery showers.

Tourist operators had expected a massive influx of visitors to Welsh hotspots, and hope eventual numbers will show this weekend to be the summer's most profitable so far.

Fully-booked

Many hotels and caravan parks around the country were fully booked.

The Wales Tourist Board said: "The fine weather predicted for the weekend will be sure to give the tourism industry in Wales a boost before the school holidays begin."

During last July, 1.1m Britons stayed overnight in Wales, spending 149m, according to the board.

Over the Easter break, 78% of accommodation providers surveyed said they were fully booked.

Tenby

Fears over international affairs are keeping UK holidaymakers at home, according to Chris Osbourne of Tenby Hoteliers Association.

"Last year was a phenomenal year for the industry," he said, adding visitors had "locked out" the town in June.

"But this year we also have uncertainty over Sars, terrorism and air travel, so people are thinking about staying at home."




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