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Last Updated: Monday, 10 November, 2003, 07:54 GMT
Wales records tourist boom
Rhossili beach
Wales' clean and plentiful beaches are a big draw
The tourism industry in Wales has outperformed the rest of the UK, according to a new survey.

Research from the United Kingdom Tourism Survey shows that in the first seven months of 2003, 6.6m visitors took trips in Wales, an increase of 2% on last year.

Added to that, visitors are spending more than ever on their Welsh holidays - the figures have risen by 16% to 969m.

The Wales Tourist Board (WTB) says the figures represent more than just the result of good weather this summer, as it was shared by the rest of the UK.

It believes they indicate that Wales is outperforming the competition to attract tourists to its shores and mountains.

Once here, visitors are now staying for a longer time than previously - research shows that holidays are lasting 14% longer than last year.

Snowdonia is one of Wales' popular national parks

By comparison, UK trips overall were down 7%, length of stay by 7% and spending by 1%.

WTB chairman Philip Evans said: "By any standards, these are extremely encouraging indicators that our collective efforts to boost the tourism industry in Wales are having an impact and that we are successfully winning a greater market share for Wales."

He thinks a UK marketing campaign, known as The Big Country, has had an impact on the figures.

Assembly Economic Development Minister Andrew Davies added: "It is very pleasing to see that the tourism industry in Wales is performing well and increasing its share of the UK market.

"This is a particularly good performance in the context of the unfortunate downturn experienced in other parts of the UK tourism market."

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27 Jul 03  |  Wales


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