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The Barometer assesses business confidence in the Welsh tourism industry and provides indicative results at national, regional and sectoral level for February wave 2023.

Main points

2022 visitor volumes up on 2021 but still down compared to pre-Covid

  • 43% of businesses had more customers in 2022 than in 2021, and a further third (33%) had the same level. About a quarter (24%) had fewer.
  • However, on balance the industry has still not recovered to pre-pandemic levels. About one in five (21%) had more customers in 2022 compared to the pre-Covid norm, and 43% had the same level. 36% were down.
  • Caravan parks remain the only sector so far to have regained pre-pandemic visitor levels, with 35% of businesses up vs 14% down.

Economic challenges are hampering investment

  • 37% say the current economic situation is affecting their ability to employ staff, 31% say it is affecting investment in the product and 28% are spending less on marketing.

Some impact on business opening

  • 11% say that the economic situation means they can’t open as much as they would ideally like to. The main outcome is closing during lengthy quieter periods (especially winter) and the reason is that there aren’t enough customers to cover the high operating costs during those times, especially energy bills.

Some confidence this year in spite of economic challenges and slow bookings

  • 17% of operators are ‘very confident’ about running their business profitably this year, and a further 50% are ‘fairly confident’. High operating costs are a significant concern and businesses need bookings in large volumes during the summer especially to make up for the quieter times of year. On balance, operators expect that will happen, albeit last minute.


Tourism Barometer: February wave 2023 , file type: PDF, file size: 945 KB

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Phil Nelson

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