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As Wales’ Year of the Sea continues, marketing campaigns promoting Wales in key markets gathers momentum

First published:
6 March 2018
Last updated:

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

  • Promoting Wales at the World’s largest travel show
  • Luke Evans on screen at Principality Stadium
This week, Visit Wales and partners will be at the world’s leading Travel Trade show - ITB Berlin. The show is attended by 120,000 trade and media visitors and around 26,000 consumers. Visit Wales will host meetings with the German, Swiss and Austrian travel trade, press and media over the first 3 days, and promote Wales to consumers over the final 2 days of the show. The team will be joined on the stand by industry partners Alpine Travel; Destination Conwy; Cadw and Cambria DMC.
Attendance at ITB is one element of a marketing drive in Germany.  January to March is a key booking period for German visitors to Wales, and the campaign aims to inspire potential visitors to come to Wales in 2018. Other campaigns with key international influential partners are promoting the Year of the Sea and The Wales Way, including a supplement and competition in National Geographic and working in partnership with Lonely Planet, Flybe, P&O, Secret Escapes and outdoor retailers in Germany, Sportscheck and Globetrotter, on online and printed campaigns.

Also this week, Visit Wales will be taking the Year of Sea message to the Sea Trade Global event in the USA, in order to raise Wales’ profile as a cruise and water sports destination. SeaTrade is the cruise industry’s premier global event and is the only event guaranteed to bring together every aspect of the business, including cruise lines, suppliers, travel agents and partners. 
The Visit Wales campaign film featuring Hollywood actor Luke Evans (external link) is back on air and on video on demand during March in Wales and England.   On 1st March the giant Waterloo motion screen showcased Wales’ beautiful landscapes and seascapes in celebration of St David’s Day and extensive advertising at Waterloo station will continue until 11 March.  
A multi-platform campaign to promote Wales in Ireland will also run throughout March on TV and video on-demand; as well as a digital campaign. Visit Wales is also delighted to work in partnership again with Irish Ferries, Stena Line and Flybe to promote direct routes – by sea and by air – to Wales.
Visit Wales’ In-Wales campaigns have included press and digital advertising on walesonline, The Western Mail and the Daily Post.  Advertorials currently running include ‘The ultimate 50 things to do on the Welsh coast” (external link) and an online Guide to the Welsh Coast (external link). The campaign film will be shown at the Principality Stadium when Wales face Italy this weekend and again on the 17th March during the France match.  
Tourism Minister, Lord Elis-Thomas, said: 
“Visit Wales’ Spring marketing activity is part of an ambitious programme of activity promoting our world-class products, activities, events and experiences during Year of the Sea.  The Volvo Ocean Race is fast approaching, and this is one of our key events for 2018 - when the world’s eyes will once again be on Wales.  This will be an invaluable opportunity for us to promote Wales as a top 21st Century coastal destination and celebrate our coastal Capital and communities.  

“Another key initiative for this year is The Wales Way – our new family of three national scenic touring routes which cross the country’s most epic landscapes as a way of showcasing Wales’ fascinating history, coastlines and attractions – and give overseas visitors the confidence and information to explore more of Wales.”

On working with Visit Wales on the campaign film, Luke Evans, said: ““Being able to see Wales’ coastline in this way was both an honour and privilege.

“We passed hundreds of beaches, harbours, inlets and islands – while spotting porpoises and bottlenose dolphins play in the distance – and saw people kayaking, paddleboarding and coasteering. There is just so much to do along Wales’ coast.
“I have such fond memories spending holidays by the coast in Wales, and I try to get back here as often as I can. It offers complete respite from the hustle of everyday life and reminds me how lucky I was to grow up surrounded by such awe-inspiring scenery.”

You can get behind the campaigns by sharing content and tagging #FindYourEpic and #GwladGwlad.