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  1. ITV Report

Extra £30 million for Merthyr as number of tourists visiting almost doubles

Attractions like BikePark Wales and the Rock UK Summit Centre are helping to bring in tourists. Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

The amount of tourists visiting Merthyr Tydfil in 2018 increased by 41% compared to the year before.

Almost 1.8 million tourists visited the area, bringing in an extra £30 million to the local economy.

Trago Merthyr, attractions such as BikePark Wales and an increase in properties on Airbnb have been driving the growth in visitors.

The news was delivered as part of a council conference about tourism in the area.

An increase in hostel and Airbnb accommodation has helped encourage more visitors to say overnight. Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

Tourism brought £100 million to Merthyr Tydfil in 2018 - a £30 million increase on 2017. As a result, another 283 jobs were supported by the tourism sector.

People at Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council's annual 'Destination Day' conference heard that the number of visitors choosing to stay overnight was also up 13.6%.

Ellis Cooper, Interim Chief Executive at the council, spoke about several other developments currently in the pipe-line that are hoped to bring in even more tourists.

Some of these include the development of a Cyfarthfa heritage area masterplan, Valleys Regional Park funding, Merthyr Tydfil's new bus station and Phase 2 developments at BikePark Wales.

80,000 riders use the trails at BikePark Wales every year. Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

Council Leader Kevin O'Neill said they are hoping to continue growing the tourism sector in Merthyr even further. He said the council will do this by offering "collaborative packages to encourage people to stay longer in the" area.

Other speakers at the conference included Ian Ritchie, who is working on designing the Cyfarthfa Plan and Richard Mears, Trago Merthyr's Site Manager.