2015 was an excellent year, even compared to a record breaking 2014.
According the Great Britain Tourism Survey, published today, Wales welcomed 9.5 million visitors in the first eleven months of 2015 and these visitors spent £1.8 billion in the Welsh economy.
Deputy Minister for Culture Sport and Tourism will take part in many activities today as part of Wales Tourism Week. An abseil down Chirk Castle will be the first stop as part of an initiative by Snowdonia Active to hold a series of pop-up activities across North Wales to celebrate Wales' Year of Adventure. The Deputy Minister will then visit the Welsh Mountain Zoo to get a taste of Africa while meeting the resident Lemurs and Meerkats.
The Deputy Minister, said: "The Tourism industry in Wales is in very good shape. We've seen successive annual increases in visitor volumes and expenditure, both in the GB and international markets. In 2014, the number of visitors broke the 10 million mark for the first time on record, which was excellent news for Wales. With a month of 2015 figures yet to be calculated, we can already see that the spend figure is higher than the previous record of £1.735 billion set in 2014 which is testament to the hard work of the industry and proof that our tourism strategy for Wales is working.
"There is absolutely no room for complacency and our mission is to remain competitive in a very rapidly changing global market-place. The new Visit Wales international marketing campaign has been well received. The £4million major multi-channel campaign includes television and cinema advertising in the UK and Republic of Ireland, and Visit Wales's first ever programme of cinema advertising in Germany."
Another barometer of tourism performance is also showing that 2015 was a great year, the tourism occupancy survey for Jan- Dec show that occupancy levels in Guesthouses, B&Bs, and Hostels rose by 3 percentage points during 2015.
The Deputy Minister continued: "I'm delighted to have the opportunity to visit some of Wales' attractions during Wales Tourism Week and to promote the range and wealth of adventures on offer in Wales. Adventure means different things to different people, exploring a very familiar attraction at Chirk Castle from a different perspective will certainly be an adventure."