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Castle passes the visitor test
Oystermouth Castle’s visitor experience has been given a glowing endorsement in the lead-up to a month of fun activities at the attraction.
The newly-reopened castle has passed a test called the Visitor Attraction Quality Assurance Scheme (VAQAS) with flying colours.
The VAQAS, run by Visit Wales, is similar to a mystery shopper assessment. It incorporates both pre-arrival elements and elements available on site.
Pre-arrival elements include the quality of the attraction’s website, the quality of leaflets available for visitor information and the standard of customer service available over the phone in the build-up to a potential visit. Arrival elements on site include access, signage and the first impressions made by the castle grounds.
Oystermouth Castle, run by Swansea Council, met all the criteria needed. This means the attraction can use the VAQAS logo in all marketing and promotional materials in future.
Swansea Council reopened Oystermouth Castle in June after the near-completion of a major conservation project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Visit Wales, the Welsh Government through Cadw and the European Regional Development Fund with support from the Friends of Oystermouth Castle.
Cllr Nick Bradley, Swansea Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration, said: "Oystermouth Castle is one of Swansea’s most important historic landmarks and our staff worked closely alongside our partners to conserve the attraction while offering a visitor experience befitting of the 21st Century.
"This endorsement from Visit Wales is particularly pleasing because it shows we have met our goals.
"It’s important to prospective visitors in this day and age that an attraction meets their levels of expectation and Oystermouth Castle is clearly excelling in all areas. This benchmark of quality will help attract many thousands more visitors in future.”
Some of the forthcoming events at Oystermouth Castle include a Dungeons and Dragons day on Saturday August 4 with storytelling, puppetry and dragon processions.
Outdoor Shakespeare will be held in the castle’s grounds on Wednesday August 15 and Thursday August 16. The Phil Dando Big Band presents music from the big band years, including songs made famous by Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, at the castle on Friday August 17.