Concern as domestic tourism falls in Wales; but increases in England

Levels of overnight domestic tourism into Wales have fallen dramatically – whilst increasing into England, and Great Britain as a whole.

Welsh Conservatives have called for “urgent answers” from the Welsh Government, as new figures show a fall in 90,000 domestic trips to Wales, and a loss of 1.8million nights spent in Wales.

The figures, from the Great Britain Tourism Survey, cover a 12-month period between May 2015 and April 2016 – and demonstrate a significant fall in tourism compared with the previous year.

By contrast, the number of trips to England increased by 5.46million – or 5.6% - and the number of nights spent in the country increased by 4.7%, or 13.37million. This has prompted Welsh Conservatives to demand action from Labour Ministers.

Shadow Secretary for tourism, Russell George AM, said:

“These worrying figures are clear – domestic tourism has increased significantly in England, and fallen sharply in Wales.

“The Welsh Government must provide urgent answers as to how it plans to buck this trend, and ensure Wales meets its massive potential within the tourism field.

“From our cities and towns, to rural communities and seaside areas, tourism is a critical driver in economic development and job creation. However, with a loss of 90,000 domestic trips to Wales, and 1.8million nights spent in Wales, it is clear the Welsh Government is failing to foster the right conditions for growth.

“Clearly, Labour Ministers must think again, and consider removing Visit Wales from Government control, and rewarding smaller tourism providers which recruit new staff or expand. We must ensure industry-expertise is in the driving seat in promoting Wales’ unique tourism offer.”