More than 960 visitors from 40 countries signed in at the International Pavilion at the Royal Welsh Show last week (22-25 July) reflecting the popularity of the event as a world-wide attraction.
Overseas interest in the show has been developing apace during the past decade and the increasing interest by overseas publications covering the show has created valuable publicity for Welsh agriculture, and also for Wales as a nation, in Europe and further afield.
Teams of journalists and cameramen from Holland, Germany, France, Belgium, South Africa, the United States and the Czech Republic, were at work on the showground reporting on the event and spreading the word abroad about Britain’s biggest and most successful agricultural show.
Much of the European interest focussed on the brilliant display of Welsh ponies and cobs, although there is wide general interest too, and one New Zealand journalist travelled to Llanelwedd specifically to cover the Wales-v-New Zealand shearing test match.
The largest number of visitors from a single country came from Holland (157), where there is strong interest in the Welsh Mountain Pony and Cob breeds, followed by Ireland (139) and Germany (103). New Zealand (76) and Australia (75) are always among the high numbers on the overseas visitors list at the Royal Welsh, and this year a delegation from China was on a fact-finding mission to learn more about agricultural research and development and to identify opportunities for collaboration.
Not all foreign visitors to the show made their way to the International Pavilion, however, so not all are recorded. Many are on the showground not only to see the cream of Britain’s livestock but also to discuss business with individual livestock producers and commercial companies exhibiting on the showground.
“Unfortunately we do not have a record of all those who come from overseas,” said one of the team manning the International Pavilion.
“We hope to devise a scheme to ensure that in future we shall be able to acquire this information especially since international business deals at the show are taking on a greater significance. It will also provide us with a truer figure for the actual numbers of visitors from abroad who come to the show.”