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Last Updated: Monday, 8 March, 2004, 12:55 GMT
Castle promotes wrong country
Conwy Castle, courtesy of Freefoto.com
Conwy Castle was a key fortress in north Wales
A website which aims to bring overseas visitors to the UK has apologised after it moved a north Wales castle across the sea to promote the attractions of Northern Ireland.

The British Tourist Authority says using the image of Conwy Castle was an "administrative error".

A picture of the castle appeared on the site for just a few days before the mistake was spotted but the mix-up has had a positive spin-off for Conwy.

We're delighted that Wales can lay claim to Conwy Castle and that it hasn't moved across the sea to Ireland!
Heledd Llewelyn, Wales Tourist Board

"Nothing surprises me from London - beyond north of Watford and they don't know," said Councillor Ronnie Hughes, leader of Conwy Council.

"On the positive side we have had a lot of publicity."

"It's a bit of a joke but there are serious implications," he said.

"The tourist authority are putting something forward saying it is in Northern Ireland - some of them need geography lessons."

The 13th century castle is not the only attraction of north Wales worthy of mention, said Mr Hughes.

But its imposing 22 towers make it - and other sights in north Wales - an area to remember, he said.

We have got plenty of castles to show
Mo Durkan, Northern Ireland Tourist Board

The castle was a key fortress in north Wales and was ordered by Edward I.

Mr Hughes said if a tourist sees the imposing castle and the surrounding area, they will always come back.

Staff at visitbritain, the official web site of the British Tourist Authority, do go on familiarisation courses and visit parts of the UK, said spokesman Elliott Frisby.

The image of Conwy Castle was on a 'Destination of the Month' page which promotes a particular part of Britain, said Mr Frisby.

Heritage status

"The three images were always meant to be generic, but when you looked at it it does appear to be an easy mistake to make, so we absolutely apologise for that," he said.

Heledd Llewelyn, of the Wales Tourist Board, said: "Using the picture of Conwy Castle to attract holiday makers to Northern Ireland was obviously an unfortunate mistake - which visitbritain has apologised for.

"As one of the four north Wales castles that hold UNESCO World Heritage Site status - we're delighted that Wales can lay claim to Conwy Castle and that it hasn't moved across the sea to Ireland!"

Mo Durkan, of the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, said she knew of the mix-up.

"We have got plenty of castles to show. Carrickfergus Castle is still entirely intact and not far from Belfast, and we have Dunluce Castle which is particularly spectacular," she said.

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