Latest figures showing a rise in the number of people using guest houses, bed and breakfasts, self catering units and hostels in Wales over the last year
The Economy Secretary was responding to the latest Wales Tourism Accommodation Occupancy statistics, which show that room occupancy for guest houses and bed and breakfasts in Wales between March 2016 and February 2017 stood at 40%, a 2 percentage point increase on the previous 12 months.
Meanwhile, occupancy rates for self catering units increased by 4 percentage points in the same period to 55%, while hostel bed space increased by 3 percentage points to 51%.
At 67%, the occupancy rate for hotel rooms was the highest of all but down slightly on the figures for the previous 12 months.
Ken Skates said:
"These latest occupancy statistics show a strong picture for tourism in Wales, and continue to reflect the success we have experienced over the last 2 years.
"Figures for the first 9 months of 2016 show a substantial increase of 12% in the number of overseas visitors coming to Wales and a 9% increase in the amount they spend while they are here. We have also seen a significant increase in the number of day visitors coming to Wales.
"In what is an extremely competitive market place, tourism in Wales is in a strong position. We’ve had 2 record-breaking years and our aim is to sustain growth – being aware that global events and competition will mean that not every year will be a record-breaking one. The overall picture - taking into account tourism day visits, international visitors as well GB overnights visits - indicates that Wales saw an increase of almost 16% in overall tourism volumes during the three quarters of 2016, which includes the important summer peak.
"We are working hard to sustain these levels of success in 2017 through continued investment in marketing and product development. Our Year of Legends 2017 has also got of to a great start with Wales being named as one of the top must-visit destinations globally from the likes of Lonely Planet, Trip Advisor, Wanderlust and Rough Guides."