Economy Secretary Ken Skates, was today at Wales’ newest adventure at Zip World Fforest, Betws y Coed to officially open the Fforest Coaster.
It is the UK’s only Alpine Coaster, and is set to further boost North Wales’ credentials as a world class adventure destination. Zip World is also the new location for the EPIC installation.
The Fforest Coaster has received funding through Visit Wales Tourism Investment Support Scheme. Following the Year of Adventure in 2016 - investment in the sector signals further growth and development in adventure tourism in Wales.
Research has shown that the Year of Adventure – the first of Wales’ themed years - was a big success for the industry. Visit Wales marketing activity for 2016 generated an additional £370m for the Welsh economy - which is an 18% increase on 2015. This shows visitors were definitely influenced by Visit Wales marketing before taking a trip to Wales.
Following the official opening, the Economy Secretary, said:
“The Year of Adventure has shown that Wales is a world class adventure destination, the Lonely Planet’s listing of North Wales as number 4 in their 10 best places in the world to visit in 2017 was the icing on the cake, especially as they mentioned the way the former industrial landscape has been reinvented and repurposed to create a series of truly world class attractions.
This recognition is testimony to the commitment and partnership working between public and private sector to deliver a world class visitor experience. This exciting addition to the Zip World family will no doubt attract many more to the area. I wish the team at Zip World every success for the coming season and congratulate them on their commitment to invest in product innovation.”
Zip World co-founder, Sean Taylor, says:
“Adventure tourism is booming in North Wales. In fact, we are so confident in its future that we have invested more than £5.5m in the last 12 months to help consolidate its rightful position as an adventure capital.
“A recent economic impact study on Zip World revealed that since 2013, Zip World attractions has generated £121m for the North Wales economy and created more than 218 jobs with over 93% of these jobs going to local people. We believe that we have a winning formula - our world-class customer service; innovative adventures and our ability to leverage Snowdonia’s beauty to create an unforgettable visitor experience.”
The EPIC installation has also appeared at the Zip World Fforest site for the official opening. EPIC was a focal part of the Year of Adventure campaign and has undergone a makeover over the winter to reflect the Year of Legends theme for 2017. The sign has been refreshed and recovered with illustrations of our most popular and well known legends. Visitors will be able to read all about the stories behind the legends as these are printed on the base of the sign which measures 4 metres high and 11 metres wide. This year’s campaign film with Luke Evans is also a feature of the sign, with a QR code to view the film printed on the sign.