Campaign to attract day trippers to North Wales
By Ceidiog Hughes
A big push is underway to attract more day trippers to North Wales. They already spend £600 million a year in the region and tourism bosses are confident there is potential for even more growth. The Great Days Out campaign is being funded by Tourism Partnership North Wales, the body responsible for the strategic development of the visitor economy.
Regional Strategy Director Dewi Davies believes that increasing the number of day visitors will help in achieving the ambition of becoming a Top Five visitor destination in the UK. Mr Davies said the overall objective of the £40,000 campaign was to have a more focused range of leaflets and websites to create a “stronger impact in the marketplace”.
As part of the drive to attract visitors from the North West and Midlands, 250,000 Great Days Out leaflets, supported by adverts from 40 advertisers, have been printed. Mr Davies explained: “We have just fewer than 18 million day visitors coming to North Wales every year. They are vital to the visitor economy because they generate around 30 per cent of the income we have. That’s the best part of £600 million of spend towards the total of £2.1 billion of wealth created by tourism in North Wales.
The majority of day visitors live within a two-hour drive-time – that means that around 40 per cent of our day visitors come from the North West of England and just fewer than 30 per cent come from conurbations like Birmingham and Stoke. Around 90 per cent of them come in their own cars and around 10 per cent use public transport.
We know that they spend well when they come here – the average spend per head is around £35 which includes items like paying to go into attractions and buying drinks. We have more than 190 top class attractions and we are trying to entice more people from the North West and the Midlands. We have been doing ground-breaking work to persuade the attractions consortia in North Wales to work together on our website, Attractions North Wales. They include the Ten Top Attractions, Attractions of Snowdonia, the National Trust, Cadw, Anglesey Attractions, Llandudno Attractions and the North Wales Borderlands.
The Attractionsnorthwales website has the best part of 200,000 unique visitors every year – it’s one of our most popular websites. It provides a comprehensive range of attractions including those that are graded and subscribe to the Visitor Attraction Quality Assurance Service which means they sign up to a charter to provide an excellent visitor experience and standards of care. The attractions website also provides competitions and offers. There are also links to accommodation and events so that they are only a click away.
Instead of five pieces of print, we have now developed a Great Days Out leaflet with North Wales Tourism as the sole piece of print that we send over the border to the North West of England and the Midlands. It has a fantastic range of things to do and we have homed in on the big tickets, the things that make people decide to come here.
The top attractions range from GreenWood Forest Park in the west, the Welsh Mountain Zoo in Colwyn Bay, the Seaquarium in Rhyl, Ruthin Craft Centre, to the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct which now has World Heritage status. We have four mountain ranges, 250 miles of coastline, five World Heritage Sites and our unique distinctive culture. North Wales is compact geographically but our list of attractions is big – we are blessed with this diverse offer covering a small footprint that is hard to match anywhere in the UK.
It’s only 85 miles from Chester to Holyhead and about 40 miles from North to South. Once we have attracted people to come and visit our big ticket attractions, we want them to stay here longer and do even more things.”