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A comprehensive report that includes 2019 data from the main tourism surveys.

The analysis in this report relates to January to December 2019 so pre-dates the current COVID-19 situation apart from the Tourism Barometer Survey.

Business performance

The Wales Tourism Barometer, undertaken in late April, was the third extraordinary wave of spring 2020 surveys to understand the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on the tourism industry. The previous wave of the survey, undertaken end of March 2020, had found that 97% of businesses were closed with 5% not having opened in 2020 at all.

The current survey reported that government furlough support had kept redundancies to a minimum to that point. The median estimated loss so far was 20% of the usual whole year revenue, ranging from no losses to 80%. Around a quarter (23%) of businesses did not expect to survive the following three months if lockdown continued, while three in ten (30%) did not know how long they could survive.

Overnight domestic GB trips

There were 10,698,000 overnight domestic GB trips to Wales during 2019, which was an increase of 6.8%, generating expenditure of £2,003 million.

Domestic GB tourism day visits

During 2019, there were 87,300,000 tourism day visits in Wales, which was a decrease of 8.8%. These visits generated expenditure of £3,447 million.

International Visitors/Travel

The number of international trips to Wales during 2019 rose by 3.6% to 1,023,000. Visitor spending was £515 million, which was an 18.8% increase on the same time last year. (Please note that ONS have adjusted the figures from the International Passenger Survey for the period 2009 to 2019).

There were just over 93 million trips taken abroad by UK residents in 2019 for all purposes, an increase of 2.8% compared to the previous year. Of these 58,700,000 were holidays, an increase of 2.3% compared to 2018.

Wales accommodation occupancy rates January – December average

Hotels: 66%
Guesthouse/B&Bs: 37%
Self-catering: 57%
Hostels: 54%

Caravan Holiday Homes (May to October): 90%

Touring Caravans and Camping Parks (May to October): 42%


Wales Tourism Performance, 2019 , file type: PDF, file size: 2 MB

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Joanne Corke

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