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Last Updated: Monday, 19 January, 2004, 07:18 GMT
New survey boost for tourism
Lleyn Peninsula
The Lleyn Peninsula is renowned for its beautiful scenery
The Lleyn Peninsula in north Wales has been named the fourth most popular UK holiday destination in an internet poll.

It is the latest in a series of figures and surveys which indicate the Welsh tourist industry has reason to be optimistic in 2004.

Last week, research from Channel Four placed north Wales ahead of the Algarve, the Lake District and Florida in a list of popular holiday destinations.

And figures released by the Wales Tourist Board (WTB) show that visitors spent a total of 1.453bn in the first nine months of 2003, which represented a year-on-year increase of 17%.

During this period, the WTB claims that Wales "outperformed the rest of the UK", as the number of trips it attracted rose by 1% to 9.6 million.

On Monday, the 50 Connect portal, which is aimed at the over-50s, revealed the Lleyn Peninsula received more than 10% of votes as the most popular break.

Whitby topped the poll with 19%, followed by Edinburgh (16%) and Bath (11%).

"The votes just weren't there for what are generally perceived as popular destinations like London and Stratford-Upon-Avon," said Dale Lovell from 50 Connect.

Favoured destination

A spokeswoman for the WTB said the result was "fantastic news for the Lleyn Peninsula and for Wales in general".

"It is a sure sign of the high quality tourism experience that visitors can expect when they come on holiday to Wales.

"These are extremely encouraging indicators that our collective efforts to boost the tourism industry in Wales are having an impact," she added.

In the survey for the Channel Four programme Britain's Favourite Holiday, north Wales took ninth place, with a reported 1.5m visitors last summer.

The Devon and Cornwall region was the only other UK destination to beat north Wales, as it secured top spot with a staggering 6.3m visitors.

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