The Tourist Industry in Wales

The Tourist Industry in Wales

Then decline of heavy manufacturing in the UK in the late 20th century was experienced no greater than it was in Wales. The with drawl of major employers left whole communities is a downward spiral of economic down turn, and this was particularly the case in the mining towns where the collieries were once the dominant industry.

A lot of these regions have either recovered, or are still in the stages of recovery. They have done this by either regeneration or benefiting from the economic benefits that tourism has brought into the country.

Since the 19th century tourists have been visiting Wales. The seaside towns of Colwyn Bay, Rhyl and Llandudno in the North of the country have been attracting visitors since Victorian times. These resorts were particularly popular with the populations of Manchester and Liverpool as North Wales was easily accessible with the building of the railways.

The beach resort of Llandudno

These were the traditional beach holidays and people flocked to the region as an abundance of small bed and breakfast accommodation made the holidays affordable to young families. After the Second World War the tourist industry on the North Wales coast suffered from the development of international commercial air travel.

People were now looking to expand their horizons. A week’s holiday in Benidorm in Spain could now be as affordable as week in Rhyl, but there was one major difference, the weather. The new destinations guaranteed sunshine and this was something that even the most avid North Wales supporter could not do.

However, while the traditional beach holidays were experiencing a difficult time the regeneration of the old industrial landscape was cleaning up the rest of the country. People were now being attracted to Wales for different reasons other than sand and sun. The culture and history of the country was proving enticing and slowly, but surely, tourism in Wales started to gather momentum.

Even before the beach resorts were created in Wales there were visitors who ventured into the countryside but it wasn’t the mountains they were heading for but the Wye Valley. The beauty of the area was published by William Gilpin in 1782. This resulted in the region being visited by a number of the first tourists into Wales.

The region is today once again popular with tourists as it has been designated an area of outstanding beauty. With it crossing the border with England it is a great location for visitors to go and visit the Welsh towns of Chepstow and Monmouth. Many people who visit Wales make sure at some stage they visit the capital city Cardiff. The city benefits from having a blend of well-kept and maintained historical buildings, with regenerated areas that house modern sports complexes, entertainment venues and retail arcades.

The city attracts sporting visitors as it hosts international football, rugby union and cricket. In fact the Principality stadium is a multi-purpose venue so it is able to support whichever Welsh sport wants to use the arena.

The spectacular sight of Conwy Castle

“Cardiff Castle”, “The National Museum” and “St David’s Hall” are all popular attractions. However there is no more popular museum than “The Museum of Welsh Life”, which attracts more than 600,000 visitors each year. It focuses on Wales’ industrial past and how the country has coped in coming to terms with the regeneration of the region.

The castles in other parts of the country are also popular such as “Caerphilly Castle”, “Caernarfon Castle” and “Conwy Castle”. They were all built by Edward I to consolidate the English conquest of Wales in 1284 and they are all in fine condition proving popular among visitors.

The regeneration of the Lower Swansea Valley has resulted in the area becoming a more popular tourist area. There are many leisure activities available in the waterfront areas, and the nature that is found at the nearby Swansea Bay and Gower Peninsular attracts many people into the region.

Its location also gives visitors the opportunities to visit the old steel towns like Llanelli or even venture further afield into one of the country’s National Parks.