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Hosting the world’s biggest sporting event of the year next week in Cardiff has given Visit Wales an excellent platform to raise Wales’ profile.

First published:
31 May 2017
Last updated:

This was published under the 2016 to 2021 administration of the Welsh Government

With around 170,000 additional visitors expected in Cardiff and an estimated global TV audience of 200 million across 200 countries and territories, few events can match the Champions League Final for size and scope.  With Juventus and Real Madrid taking part in the men’s UEFA Champions League Final and Lyon and Paris Saint-Germain competing in the Women’s Champions League Final, Cardiff is expected to be incredibly busy and alive with not only Spanish and Italian and French voices, but with people and languages from every corner of the globe, including an estimated 2,500 members of the media. 

The work of marketing Wales as host nation has been ongoing since the start of 2017.  A competition  was part of the Visit Wales stand at  ITB Berlin, the world’s largest travel market, with a prize to win a week-long holiday in Wales and two tickets for the men’s and women’s champions league final, there were over 16,000 entries.  The Champions League Final Trophies also made an appearance at the stand and proved very popular. 

Following the launch of the Iberia Madrid to Cardiff flight, familiarisation visits were hosted for journalists and tour operators from Madrid to experience what Cardiff had to offer – should their team make the final.  Spanish Tour Operators and Iberia Airways are now promoting The Champions League and city breaks to Cardiff through their own channels. Spanish tour operator, Politours are specifically using the Champions League as a way of clients recognising Wales as a city break and holiday destination. 

New videos have also been produced including restaurateurs promoting Cardiff filmed and distributed in Italian - You Tube (external link), Spanish - You Tube (external link) and English - You Tube (external link).  A new video of young Welsh boy dreaming of playing in Champions League final (external link) has been distributed through social media channels.

International pages have been set up on (external link) in French, Spanish and Catalan, which has further promotion of the Champions League Final and Wales as a holiday destination. A digital destination marketing campaign is also running in Spain and France to promote Wales. 

In order to inform those travelling fans, a Cardiff Mini Guide has produced in Spanish, Italian and French and distributed through Visit Wales and VisitBritain channels.  Welcome messages from Wales will be placed in Cardiff Airport, Cardiff Central Train Station and Cathedral Road and well as gateway branding in London Paddington and Schiphol Airport Amsterdam.   Visit Wales will also have a stand in the Champions Festival Village showcasing what the country has to offer -  and should the excitement of the matches not be enough – there will be a 360 virtual reality Zip wire and white water rafting experience.

Economy Secretary, Ken Skates, said: 

“The UEFA Champions League Final is a fantastic opportunity for people across the world to see what Wales can deliver, whilst providing hundreds of thousands the opportunity to sample our excellent tourism, produce and business offering. I’m delighted that we’re able to welcome legendary footballers from around the world to Wales during our Year of Legends.

“For the first time in eight years, the numbers of overseas visitors to Wales crossed the 1 million mark in 2016 – and we saw record breaking spend figures from our overseas markets. Hosting this event will give Wales further opportunities to raise awareness of Wales has a holiday destination in key overseas markets. 

“For many fans, this will be their first visit to Wales, we hope they have a fantastic time in Wales – enjoy the welcome and the atmosphere and will come back to visit again soon. We will continue to make the most of having the opportunity to host such legendary event long after the final whistle sounds.”