Page last updated at 06:28 GMT, Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Tourists enjoying warm Welsh welcome, survey suggests

Pembrokeshire coast
The landscape of Wales was particularly popular with visitors

The latest tourism survey by Visit Wales suggests most visitors went away with a positive impression of the country.

The welcome tourists are given and the friendliness of the people are among the best features of visiting Wales, said the survey.

Almost 90% of visitors said they would recommend Wales as a destination to visit for family and friends.

The overall rating for Wales from day visitors was 4.5 out of 5.

Some 5,601 visitors, including day trippers and people on longer stays, were questioned on all aspects of their break.

Most visitors went away with a "very positive" impression of the country, with 92% rating their stay either very good or excellent.

70% of all visitors stated they "definitely would" visit Wales again in the next few years
86% of visitors interviewed would definitely recommend Wales as a place to visit for family and friends
Ratings included 4.4 out of 5 for friendliness of the people and 4.4 out of 5 for welcome received
Top attractions are nature attractions plus castles, stately houses and historic sites
Three in 10 rated their trip as excellent in terms of giving them a "unique Welsh cultural experience"
55% rate Wales excellent as a place to visit
Source: Visit Wales

The landscape attracted the highest level of endorsement, with two-thirds or more rating the coastline, countryside and scenery as something they particularly associated with Wales.

Minister for Heritage, Alun Ffred Jones, said he was "delighted" and "encouraged" by what he called the "positive responses" of the Wales Visitor Survey 2009, which he launched during a visit to a Warm Welsh Welcome training course in Beaumaris on Anglesey.

"This survey shows that friendliness of the people and welcome received are amongst the best features of visiting Wales," he said.

"Courses like this will ensure we maintain this high standard and help tourism business understand why people come to Wales so they can offer them the best possible experience during their stay.

"We will continue to support local tourism businesses to ensure Wales maintains its reputation as a vibrant and attractive tourist destination."

Dewi Davies, director of Tourism Partnership North Wales, said: "We're pretty much encouraged with the good scoring we're getting from visitors who come to Wales.

"It reflects that people escape to Wales for short break holidays, outdoor experiences because of the fantastic landscape we have.

"Our challenge is to make sure visitors get that great welcome and this study does seem to indicate that is being achieved."

He added the tourism sector must continue to improve the skills of people in the industry.

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