There’s good news for Wrexham’s tourism sector which has seen a 3.5% increase in visitor spend across the county borough over the past year.
The latest data, which has been released by Global Tourism Solutions, shows that a total of £115.9 million was brought into the county borough by tourism in 2016. This is up from the £111.9 million recorded in the same period in 2015.
However since 2010 there has been a growth of 37.2% – making the County one of the strongest performers in Wales.
The new figures are based off data submitted by local tourism operators across the county borough.
Branded the ‘Year of Adventure’, 2016 played host to a number of high profile events locally, including FOCUS Wales, the Wrexham Food and Drink Festival, Wales Comic Con, a jam packed Christmas offering and of course, the Stereophonics gig in the Racecourse (to name but a few!)
In addition, investment in the sector by local businesses and regional marketing through the ‘North East Wales’ brand, along with the investment in a new website and brand for the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct & Canal World Heritage Site has also been attributed to helping continue to raise the awareness of Wrexham County Borough as a place to visit for leisure and business.
The results have been welcomed by lead member for the economy, Cllr Terry Evans, who said they represent ‘further good news for the tourism sector in Wrexham County Borough’.
He added: “Being the local councillor for Chirk, I have seen myself how the town and the county has benefited from the growth in visitor numbers in recent years and I hope that these positive statistics encourage further investment and growth in the sector going forward.
“It’s also encouraging in particular to see a growth in our events programme and overnight stays which we have worked hard to promote. Both of these generally bring more income for our local businesses here in the county.”
These comments were echoed by Chairman of the This Is Wrexham Tourism Partnership, Peter McGivern who said: “We often can be accused of being overly positive about tourism in our county, however year on year the data gathered from local operators and national surveys justifies this as more and more visitors continue to choose Wrexham County as either a base to explore North Wales from – or for days out at our local attractions or events.
“In this last year, the Tourism Partnership and the tourism team at Wrexham County Borough Council have collaborated on a number of initiatives and events – all of which have aimed to keep us competitive and attractive to visitors.
“In July, we also launched our new tourism card which aims to firstly continue the support that we have afforded hotels, restaurants and attractions in recent years and generate funding to put back into marketing, business support and visitor events.”
Early indications for 2017 suggest that tourism performance in both Wrexham County and across North Wales will continue to develop, with the Lonely Planet Guide featuring the region as the 7th best place in the world to visit.
The town centre is also seeing an increase in the number of coach tours and a new Destination Management Action Plan for the County is currently in production – paving the way for more growth in the sector over the coming years.
There are also plenty more events on the horizon over the next few months, including the return of Wales Comic Con, a spooky Halloween drive-in cinema and the return of the wonderfully festive Victorian Christmas Market.
Added to this, the Visit Wales ‘Year of Legends’ programme is in full swing, with Wrexham, Flintshire and Denbighshire tourism teams working hard to market the regions strong heritage assets, event programme, warm hospitality and group travel itineraries via a series of short films and promotional material.
Who says nothing good ever happens in Wrexham, eh!