Wales' tourism industry is bouncing back according to Visit Wales, the government funded agency which is tasked with promoting the country to tourists.
Visit Wales says despite 2012 seeing a fall in tourist figures for the first time since 2008, due in part to extremely poor weather, the volume and value of visits to Wales during the 2013 was well up and business confidence was high.
Since 2009, 'Free to Enter' attractions have seen bigger increases than paid attractions.
Changes in visitor numbers at attractions differ across the regions: South West has seen some decline, while the South East’s free attractions performed well says Visit Wales.
The Top Ten free attractions in Wales are:
- Wales Millennium Centre
- St Fagans, National History Museum;
- Cyfarthfa Castle Museum
- National Museum Wales
- Pembrey Country Park
- Cardiff Museum Project
- Cwmcarn Forest Drive and Visitor Centre
- National Waterfront Museum
- Cosmeston Lakes and Country Park
- Loggerheads Country Park.
The top ten paid for attractions in Wales are:
- 1. LC, Swansea
- 2. Folly Farm
- 3. Portmeirion
- 4. Margam Country Park
- 5. Conwy Castle;
- 6. Great Orme Tramway
- 7.Caernarfon Castle
- 8. Welsh Mountain Zoo and Botanical Gardens;
- 9. Greenwood Forest Park
- 10. Caerphilly Castle.
The 'Attractions' sector saw a greater increases in business than the Accommodation sector over the past 3 years.
Castles and historic sites are the most common reason for visiting Wales with GB and overseas visitors.
Visit Wales says the ‘Staycation’ trend has supported Welsh tourism but wetter summers may be a challenge for attractions, particularly outdoor attractions.