Visit Wales is an Assembly Sponsored Public Body. It is the Welsh Assembly Government's tourism body, within the Department for Heritage.
Visit Wales has taken over the functions of the former Wales Tourist Board. The role of Visit Wales is to support the Welsh tourism industry and provide the appropriate strategic framework within which private enterprise can achieve sustainable growth and success, so improving the social and economic well being of Wales.
The mission of Visit Wales is to "maximise tourism's contribution to the economic, social and cultural prosperity of Wales"
- Raise positive awareness of Wales as a tourism destination.
- Provide a means for customers to purchase a visit.
- Actively seek partners for this work from the private and public sector to stimulate visits that will benefit individual businesses and the economy of Wales.
- Tourists spend over £8 million a day on trips in Wales.
- This amounts to around £3 billion a year.
- The baseline budget at the Wales Tourist Board for 2005/2006 was £22.6 million.
- In direct terms, tourism contributes 3.7% of whole-economy value added in Wales. It is important to note that this figure does not include indirect value added that occurs.
- Approximately 100,000 people in Wales are employed in tourism. This represents approximately 9% of the workforce.
- The UK accounts for 93% of tourism trips to Wales.
- 70% of UK tourists to Wales come for a holiday, 20% to visit friends or relatives and 7% for a business trip.
Over one million trips are taken to Wales annually by overseas tourists . The most popular origins of overseas visitors are Republic of Ireland, USA, and Germany.
- 50% of trips by UK tourists to Wales go to the countryside or small towns/villages.
- The most popular activities undertaken by tourists in Wales are: walking, swimming, visiting historic attractions such as castles and visiting museums and galleries.
- The most popular attraction in Wales is the Museum of Welsh Life which attracts over 600,000 visitors annually.
- In serviced accommodation in Wales, there are over 80,000 bed spaces available.
Tourist Information Centres
There are 74 tourist information centres around Wales, which often act as the first port of call for visitors, offering local information and accommodation booking services, as well as many other services.
This network of centres offers an essential service to the 13 million visitors that come to Wales every year. They are run by over 40 different managing authorities and Visit Wales co-ordinates the network to set and monitor standards of presentation, information and customer care.
History of Wales Tourist Board
The Wales Tourist Board was established in 1969 as a result of the Development of Tourism Act 1969 and its role was enhanced following the Tourism (Overseas promotion)(Wales) Act 1992. An 'Abolition Order' was passed by the National Assembly for Wales 23rd November 2005 and full transfer of functions into the Welsh Assembly Government was made 1st April 2006. On that day, the Wales Tourist Board ceased to exist.