Results released today show that Wales’ tourism industry held up well to the challenges of 2010 with the publication of the UK Tourism Survey Results from January to September 2010.
The figures, which include the peak summer months, show that between January and September 2010, UK residents made 7.28 million visits involving at least one night’s overnight stay to Wales, this is 1 per cent down in comparison with the same period in 2009 (7.36 million). In the period January-September 2010 the total number of staying visits by UK residents to the UK as a whole fell by 4% compared with the same period in 2009.
The total number of nights spent in Wales by UK domestic visitors on these trips was 28.89 million, 1% up on the corresponding period in 2009. In January-September 2010, the total volume of nights spent by UK residents to the UK as a whole fell by 7% compared with 2009.
From January-September 2010 visitors to Wales spent £1,237 million, compared with £1,207 million for the same period in 2009, an increase of 3%. In the first nine months of 2010 total expenditure by UK residents on trips to the UK as a whole fell by 6% in comparison with the January-September period in 2009.
In Wales, short holidays (1-3 nights) have shown the biggest growth – 10% up in terms of trips, 8% up in terms of nights and 23% up in terms of expenditure in comparison with 2009.
Heritage Minister, Alun Ffred Jones, said: “The economic climate, coupled with a third disappointing summer made for a very tough year for the tourism industry in Wales. It is very hearting to see the results indicating that performance was not as bad as predicted and that Wales held up well and results were better than the UK average.
“The tourism industry, which contributes around £4 billion a year to the Welsh economy, will remain a key priority and the Assembly Government has an ambition to grow the visitor economy to take advantage of Wales’ outstanding natural, heritage and cultural assets. The results are a testimony to the hard work, resilience and professionalism of the sector.”
The UKTS is a national consumer survey measuring the volume and value of tourism trips taken by residents of the United Kingdom. It is jointly sponsored by Visit Britain, Visit Scotland, Visit Wales and the Northern Ireland Tourist Board. The update will be published via the Internet at 9:30am on 12th January 2011. Full year results will be available at the end of April 2011.