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2019 Year of Discovery.

Abercastle

Visit Wales to promote Adventure, Culture and Landscape.

As the New Year begins everyone involved in tourism is probably enjoying a bit of a break before planning for the new season. Last summer’s glorious weather brought a real boost to tourism locally and Wales saw a 3% increase in visitors with 10 million people enjoying a break here. South West Wales attracts 21% of all visits to Wales and 30,100 people are directly employed in tourism here, which is 10% of all workers.

Business Wales has plans to focus on four aspects this year : Journeys of Discovery from now until March; then Adventure until May with the summer looking at Culture and Landcape taking prominence from the autumn.

In aiming to get more visitors coming back to Wales and visiting for the first time the invitation is to:-

discover Wales afresh, and in doing so we want our guests to leave having discovered something new and special about themselves, something that holds in the memory and lingers in the soul.

Promotions will highlight culture, new routes, the many isles, Welshness per se, the wildflife and wonderful local produce – all of which Pembrokeshire has in abundance!

The statement issues about why the Year of Discovery may make you smile, but I guess this branding is to target people worldwide!

Wales in a country like no other. It’s built on a rich history of culture, heritage and legend, shaped by unbridled waters and enriched by the creativity and passion of its characterful people.

Business Wales have provided some new suggested approaches for  tourism providers  – ensuring their online presence is appealing, encouraging clients to sample the scenery and activities, link up with other providers in your community and use your local expertise! They suggest highlighting popular themes like people finding space and time for themselves, finding out about the past and enjoying nature – mindful is the new active, apparently!

It is interesting to see the make-up of our visitors and how they are categorised – in south-west Wales we attract four groups in the main: scenic or cultural explorers aged over 45 and two family types – those under 35  and those over 33 with perhaps older active children. Responsible tourism is growing in importance and the commitment to the environment and protecting our natural wonders here in Pembrokeshire meets this interest well.

As Road Dahl said:- And, above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely of places.

As well as increasing footfall and spending the Year of Discovery aims to reflect the diversity and unique delights of Wales and to persuede visitors that we can be a destination all year round, and not just in the summer. 33% of visitors from the UK come to the far south-west of Wales and we also attract good numbers of tourists from Ireland, Germany, France and the Netherlands.

Of course, it is not all about local providers doing all this alone – there is funding available from many sources within the Visit Wales scheme – for tourism attractions, small businesses, amenities, engagement and innvoation projects and some Pembrokeshire companies that have benefited recently include the following: the Wales International Coastal Centre in Saundersfoot, Llys-y-Fran Park and Activity Centre, Dr Beynon’s Bug Farm, the Pontoon at Fishguard, Runswayskiln cafe and hostel at Marloes and the Living Seas Roadshow.

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Suzanne Ashworth

Suzanne Ashworth

Suzanne is now enjoying realising her long-held ambition to work as a Community Photojournalist and to celebrate her passion for the beautiful county of Pembrokeshire. Usually accompanied by her Pembrokeshire border collie, Cwtch.

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