Day trips to Wales from other parts of the UK fell by a fifth according to new figures released this week. The findings are part of the Great Britain Day Visits Survey and cover the calendar year to November.
Between January and November 2015 there were 68 million day trips made to Wales by British residents – down 19% on the same period in 2014. Day trips in the UK as a whole fell by 4%. Day trips in Wales netted a £2,431m spend to the Welsh economy – down 1% on 2014.
Net spend across the UK was unchanged. Welsh Conservatives say the dramatic fall in visitor numbers highlights the need for an arms-length body to oversee tourism in Wales.
Shadow Tourism Minister Suzy Davies AM, said: “We’ve long said that Welsh tourism needs a shift in culture, with the industry itself taking the lead.
“These figures do nothing to change that view and, in fact, suggest that Visit Wales’ expensive TV campaigns have sent figures in the wrong direction at a time when incomes across the UK are starting to rise, albeit modestly.
“For day trips to Wales to have fallen by almost a fifth should alarm the Welsh Government, and is further evidence of the need to remove Visit Wales from the heart of Government.
“It was clearly a huge mistake to scrap the Wales Tourist Board in the first place. It needed to be reviewed and refreshed, but its loss rendered a world-recognised brand obsolete at the stroke of a minister’s pen.”