Vaughan Gething, Minister for Economy
As we begin 2023, I’m pleased to update Members on a new themed year and related campaign activity being delivered by Visit Wales. As part of the ‘Cymru Wales’ brand, this will capitalise on the busy autumn season tourism campaigns and the successful international marketing campaign and brand awareness activity delivered during the FIFA World Cup.
Llwybrau is the Welsh word for trails. We will continue to promote the Welsh language in Visit Wales campaigns as part of presenting Wales as a welcoming, inclusive destination, open all year round and home to a diverse range of experiences. It also meets our strategic commitment in Welcome to Wales: Priorities for the Visitor Economy 2020-25 to deliver a themed year biennially, allowing industry sufficient time to prepare in between times.
There continue to be both short and long term challenges for businesses. However the Welsh Government remains committed to supporting a thriving tourism and hospitality sector that, together with allied industries, represents more than a tenth of the Welsh workforce.
Working with a variety of partners, this new theme offers an opportunity for a wide range of products, businesses and communities to come together to collaborate on tailored packages to suit a range of audiences, aimed at different budgets, interests and lifestyles.
Visit Wales has been preparing stakeholders for the upcoming year in a variety of ways. So far, the theme has received a warm welcome with many partners already planning their own related activity.
Resources to support activities include an industry guide and logo download, a guide to maximising opportunities via Visit Wales and a current audience identities toolkit which have been made widely available. The latter is based on research and marketing insights and represents those audiences that are Wales’ best prospects as potential visitors.
To mark the launch of Llwybrau, Wales by Trails , in addition to TV, Video on Demand and paid digital, there will be print media and PR activity and Out of Home (OOH) placements at key locations (such as Waterloo Station). In addition, there will be new web content and additional organic social media activity including work with influencers. All of this will sit alongside an ongoing pro-active programme targeting domestic and international tour operators to sell more Wales trails and holidays.
In addition, in collaboration with VisitBritain, Visit Wales enabled an online business to business platform, called, TXGB, to become operational in Wales during the Autumn. This gives businesses the option of better access to sales channels in one marketplace and at lower commission rates to domestic and international audiences.
The Llwybrau, Wales by Trails TV advert, inviting potential visitors to “Be a Trail Taker” will air in the UK and Wales this month in Welsh and English language versions. The sound track was written by Welsh composer, Sion Trefor and tells the story of preparing for and becoming a trail taker. It features locations and products from across the country, with a variety of product interests that can influence a trail e.g. dolphin spotting, walking, mountain biking, varied accommodation, eating out and heritage.
The thread throughout all work will be the invitation to visitors and residents of Wales to explore the epic trails of Wales.
Some examples of trails available for 2023 include -
Loving Welsh Food, Cardiff
Sian Roberts is the owner of Loving Welsh Food, a business that promotes Welsh cuisine through food tours, cooking workshops and food presentations. Her culinary trails around Cardiff and other parts of Wales showcase the independent food and drink venues to tourists and locals, creating a strong sense of place.
Natural Resources Wales
Natural Resources Wales (NRW) manages over 550 km of waymarked walking trails, over 600 km of waymarked mountain bike and cycling trails, almost 100 km of waymarked running trails and around 30 km of waymarked horse-riding trails.
Dark Skies – Cambrian Mountains
The Cambrian Mountains Astro Trail is a self-guided trail that connects some of the best Dark Sky locations in the Cambrian Mountains (and, possibly, the world). It is an accessible zigzagging route that runs for approximately 50 miles from south to north, with fantastic opportunities to spot the Milky Way, meteor showers and the International Space Station at night, amongst other astronomical beauties.
Visit Wales will monitor consumer campaign performance in the coming months and continue to use market intelligence and industry feedback to tailor and adapt their work programme as necessary.