Conwy - one of Europe's most beautiful places
The ancient walled town of Conwy with its World Heritage Site castle and walls has been chosen as one of 30 of the Most Beautiful places in Europe - and the only place in the UK to make it on to the list which will be promoted to Japanese visitors.
The opportunity for Conwy to be considered as one of the best 30 villages in Europe was suggested by the Japanese Association of Travel Agents (JATA) during a meeting with Visit Wales and the Welsh Government Tokyo office in Japan in March. 157 candidates - considered as beautiful European villages were collected by travel agents, tour operators, tourist boards, airlines, and other members of JATA’s Team Europe Promotion Council who are leading this initiative. The Welsh Government office in Tokyo, Visit Wales and Conwy Borough Council worked together to present a positive bid to JATA for consideration alongside the other potential contenders.
The Team Europe Tourism Promotion Council then chose 30 destinations in Europe as that will appeal to Japanese travellers, as beautiful places that they will want to visit.
Having now been named in the top 30, Conwy will benefit from a programme of marketing and communications led by the Japan Association of Travel Agents; which will include visits by travel agents; photographic displays and seminars for the industry at Tourism Expo Japan 2015 in September as well as regional events in Japan through October and January.
Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Ken Skates, said: “This increased profile for Conwy in Japan is fantastic news for Conwy and for Wales. This recognition is an excellent way for us to promote Wales in a relatively untapped market and for us to spread the word on what Wales has to offer. We look forward to welcoming many more Japanese visitors in the future. As the Welsh Government is responsible for two of Conwy’s principle attractions, the castle and Plas Mawr, I am especially pleased with this accolade!”
Other outcomes from Visit Wales’ events and meetings in Japan in March include a familiarisation visit to North Wales for leading tour operator JTB World Vacations to develop new tours for their groups market. Another visit from JTB’s division which handles individual visits is also being arranged.
Cllr Graham Rees, Cabinet Member for Tourism, Marketing and Leisure, Conwy County Borough Council said: “This is huge news for Conwy town, as the only UK destination on the list. Conwy is a true one-off, with its imposing castle and well-preserved ancient walls, the most intact in Europe, enclosing a town of narrow cobbled streets, historic buildings, places of interest and attractions. It’s no wonder it’s a must-see for visitors and we’re delighted to see the town attract international attention and recognition in this way.”