The Barometer assesses business confidence in the Welsh tourism industry and provides indicative results at national, regional and sectoral level for May wave 2023.
Quiet start to the year
- 18% of businesses have had more customers to date this year than in the same period last year. 38% have had the same level, but 44% are down.
- Only 13% of accommodation operators are up on last year, whereas close to half (46%) are down. The picture is similar across all regions of Wales.
Not much sign of business picking up yet
- Current mean occupancy levels for accommodation operators are around the 60% mark for each of June, July and August.
- One in five (20%) of all operators expect to be up on Wales visitors in 2023 compared to 2022, whereas about a third (34%) expect to be down. 22% expect to be up on UK visitors (from outside Wales), whereas 33% expect to be down.
High costs dominate concerns
- About half (49%) cite ‘high energy costs’ unprompted as a concern this year. 14% cite ‘high staff costs’ and 28% say ‘other high operating costs’.
- The dilemma for businesses is they know that many consumers are struggling with the cost of living and so it is hard for them to raise their prices to cover increased overheads.
Offering Welsh food and drink
- On a more positive note, the majority (72%) of operators who offer / sell food & drink to their customers intentionally try to offer / sell Welsh produce. Most commonly this is dairy (61% of those who offer Welsh produce), meat (58%) and bakery products (58%).
- Also on a positive note, 70% of businesses have taken action to make their business more accessible for people with accessibility needs. The most common actions are installing ramps (38% unprompted of all operators have done so), accessible toilets (36%), training staff on how to meet accessibility needs (21%) and step-free showers (20%).
Tourism Barometer: May wave 2023 , file type: PDF, file size: 1 MB
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