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  1. ITV Report

Tourism figures: Late Easter and good weather gives businesses boost across Wales

Wales basked in fine weather this Easter, compared to snow in some places last year! Credit: Twitter/Barry James

The majority of tourism businesses in Wales either increased or maintained their visitor levels this Easter. Good weather over the period and a late Easter were the most common reasons for the increase.

After such a fine Easter, most tourism operators said they were now confident for the summer ahead.

86%
Businesses increased or maintained their visitor levels this Easter.

The latest tourism statistics released today by the Wales Tourism Business Barometer shows businesses across the country performed well, with those in the south west benefitting in particular.

Those sectors where visitors don’t have to book far in advance (or at all) performed particularly well.

Tenby, a tourist hotspot in the warm weather.

The fine weather did have an impact on indoor tourist attractions, however, who reported a quieter period.

This year's Easter period offered quite the contrast to the cold, rain, and even snow, that Wales experienced in 2018.

The Norman castle of Kidwelly overlooking the River Gwendraeth in Carmarthenshire.

Aside from the weather, some businesses pointed to the removal of the Severn Bridge tolls as another factor for an increase in visitors.

One attraction owner in south Wales said: "As a result of the removal of fees on the Severn Bridge, we’ve seen a 30% increase or so. People who otherwise would have gone to Devon surfing are now coming to Porthcawl".

Another added: "Since the removal of the tolls, we’ve seen a great deal more surfers from England coming to Porthcawl".

The famed concrete beach on Porthcawl was redeveloped this year.

Throughout the period there was still plenty going on in Westminster with Brexit bringing a turbulent March and April.

According to the Wales Tourism Business Barometer the uncertainty has affected some tourism businesses in Wales. Some owners said visitors "held off" making bookings as a result.

The data suggests those attractions that rely on European visitors seem to have been more affected. One business owner in north Wales said:

"We have seen a decline in European visitors. I think this is down to Brexit. It’s psychological and totally irrational. Also due to Brexit, there’s a trend of last minute bookings".

Zip wires overlooking the Llechwedd Slate Caverns, near Blaenau Ffestiniog. Credit: PA

The report concluded that following such a warm Easter, Wales' tourist industry is now looking forward to the summer season.