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More Brits than ever before are holidaying in Wales, Cabinet Secretary for the Economy and Infrastructure Ken Skates announced during a visit to Wales’ newest attraction – the Royal Mint Experience

First published:
7 June 2016
Last updated:

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

  • GB overnight visitors to Wales beat 2014 record breaking figures
  • number of overseas visitors to Wales and the amount spent increased in 2015
  • successful first weeks of trading for Wales’ newest visitor attraction

In 2015 Wales attracted a record 10.45 million overnight visits from GB residents, an increase of 4.5% from 2014, when the number of visitors exceeded 10 million for the first time.  The amount spent in Wales by those visitors last year was nearly £2 billion – up almost 14% on 2014.

Performance has also been excellent from overseas markets and the ONS International Passenger Survey shows that overseas trips to Wales were up 4% from 2014 to 970,000 while expenditure was up 11.4% to a record £410 million.

Cabinet Secretary, Ken Skates, said: 

“These figures show that our tourism strategy for Wales is working and is creating the right conditions for growth. As I have seen today, at the Royal Mint experience, the industry, with Welsh Government support, is making strong progress, investing in innovative and high quality products and events which have helped secure growth and created compelling reasons to visit Wales by a diverse range of target markets. 

“I now look forward to working with the industry to sustain this growth and reach our goal of growing the tourism industry by 10% by 2020.  Employment in tourism in Wales has grown at a faster rate than tourism in the UK as a whole since 2006, and in the last ten years the number employed in Tourism has increased by 33,600, the second largest absolute growth in employment out of all of the priority sectors.

“Our themed years approach has been well received and high levels of support and coverage have been achieved for the Year of Adventure so far, and a shift in perceptions of Wales as a leading adventure destination.  We’re now looking at rolling out plans for the Year of Legends in 2017.

“Confidence for the coming season was reported as high during a survey of the industry after the Easter holidays, I’m sure that the recent glorious Bank Holiday has given a further boost to the industry."

The Royal Mint Experience was supported by £2.3 million of tourism funding from the Welsh Government. The funding has helped the Royal Mint to safeguard 147 jobs within its commemorative coin division while also creating a number of new jobs both in the development and staffing of The Royal Mint Experience. The innovative attraction gives a unique behind-the-scenes experience, showcasing over 1,000 years of coin-making history.  The attraction has had a busy start since opening on 18 May and has welcomed more than 5,100 people.

Anne Jessopp, The Royal Mint’s Director of Commemorative Coin, said 

“The Royal Mint Experience has enjoyed a busy start since opening on 18 May and we are enjoying welcoming both UK and international visitors to Wales’ newest tourist attraction. The Royal Mint Experience gives visitors a unique behind-the-scenes experience, showcasing over 1,000 years of coin-making history, and the craftsmanship and innovation for which The Royal Mint is known worldwide.”