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Coastal path success brings £32m for Welsh economy

coastal path in Llanelli
The survey shows most people use the coastal path for leisure purposes Credit: PA/ Antony Stone

Visitors to Wales' coastal path have helped to boost the Welsh economy by £32m in the last year.

The results from two surveys has found that nearly three million people were attracted to the welsh coast last year, of which 95% were visiting on a walking holiday.

The 'Visitors Survey' has also shown that local businesses have benefitted from the increased tourism.

32% of businesses taking part in the survey say the Wales Coast Path will become more important in future to the success of their business in the future.

The coastal path was opened in May last year and stretches 870 miles from Flintshire to Chepstow.

Calls to boost tourism in Wales

Towns such as Tenby are reliant on the tourist trade Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

The Welsh and the UK governments should work more closely together to make Wales more competitive, according to Wales Office Minister, Baroness Jenny Randerson.

Baroness Randerson said :

"Wales has such a wealth of wonderful attractions, activities and events for visitors, and host of world-class facilities right on our doorsteps. We have so much to gain if Government and the tourism industry work together."

The tourism sector is worth £6 billion to the Welsh economy and employs more than 8% of the workforce. However, between 2002 and 2012 the Wales share of international visitors fell from 4% to 3%.

Welsh tourism industry reports a bumper summer

Beaumaris Castle and moat with swan in the water Credit: Robert Knight/Eye Ubiquitous/Press Association Images

Wales' tourism industry has enjoyed a bumper summer, according to figures released today by the Welsh Government.

Almost six in 10 Welsh tourism businesses said they had received more guests or visitors this August compared to 12 months ago, with eight in 10 feeling confident about the Autumn season.

Seven in 10 Welsh attractions reported an increase in visitor numbers, while a third of the self catering sector also reported an increase.

The recent good weather is said to be the main factor behind the upturn, with many saying the sunshine has given their businesses a boost.

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Welsh Government welcomes Wales Coast Path award

Ministers have welcomed news that the Wales Coast Path scooped the top prize at a recent ceremony in London.

The 870-mile path won the Silver Jubilee Cup and the Exemplary Rural Planning category at the Royal Town Planning Institute awards on Wednesday evening.

Culture Minister John Griffiths said the accolade was 'thoroughly deserved', while Economy Minister Edwina Hart called the Welsh coast 'one of our most important tourism assets'.

The Wales Coast Path has already provided a £16m boost to the Welsh economy and has been voted by the Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2012 as the greatest region on earth to visit in 2012. This latest award is excellent news for the the Wales Coast path and for Wales.

– Edwina Hart AM, Minister for Economy, Science and Transport
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