Last year was the first of Wales’ themed years and it proved to be great success.
Visit Wales’ marketing activity for 2016 generated an additional £370 million for the Welsh economy – which is an 18% increase on 2015.
This is based on those definitely influenced by Visit Wales marketing before taking a trip to Wales.
The Economy Secretary recently announced the continuation of the themed years with a new ‘Year of Discovery’ in 2019 which will build on the three themes of adventure, culture and great outdoors and follow the 2018 Year of the Sea.
In the context of the 2017 Year of Legends it is great to see that Cadw sites in Wales benefited from the increase in visitors in 2016, welcoming 1.4m visitors to its staffed sites— an 8% increase on the previous year and the heritage organisation’s best year on record.
There were large increases in visitor numbers at its top historic attractions, including Caernarfon, Caerphilly and Chepstow Castles. Caernarfon saw an increase of nearly 60% in visitors — many of which, had travelled to see the site’s iconic Weeping Window exhibition.
The arrival of a giant Welsh Dragon, which toured Cadw sites as part of its innovative “Historic Adventures” marketing campaign, also played a crucial role in attracting a new generation of visitors to sites.
Following last year’s success and having now gained widespread fame as Wales’ resident Dragon – for the Year of Legends – Dewi the Dragon has been joined by Dwynwen and over the weekend they welcomed two baby dragons to Caerphilly Castle.