Sport, Recreation & Leisure
The primeval beauty of the Welsh landscape is unique in the world. From the concert halls to the rugby fields, to the beaches and urban music scene, it’s no surprise that five times more people visit Wales each year than can stay.
International tourist hotspot
Nearly ten percent of the Welsh workforce works in tourism, a sector of major strategic importance to the Welsh economy, which turns over more than £4 billion a year. With 80% of visitor spend being non-Welsh, and international visitors (mainly from the USA and Germany) touching a million a year, tourism is the Welsh economy’s most important invisible export.
In an area slightly smaller than New Jersey, there are 3 world heritage sites, 34,000 scheduled monuments and listed buildings, 428 registered historic landscapes, parks and gardens, 127 sites in the care of Cadw, 4300 maritime heritage assets, and 519 conservation areas. And, with over 400 to explore, Wales has more castles per square mile than anywhere else on earth. You can spend your whole life visiting Wales, and still only scratch the surface of history.
World class sporting facilities
Bridging the leisure and tourism sectors, sport is a big deal in Wales – a nation of world-beating teams, in rugby, for instance, and world-class facilities, such as Cardiff’s awe-inspiring Millennium Stadium. And sport is big business here too. Wales outperforms the UK average in terms of the share of sport-related value added and employment in the economy. Sport-related consumer expenditure alone touches £1 billion a year in Wales.
No surprise, then, that several International Olympic teams chose Wales for pre-games training camps. Paralympic teams from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa; the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic team; the elite British Olympic and Paralympic Cycling teams and the Irish Triathlon team all based at world-class facilities in Wales.
For a million different reasons, people love to come to Wales. And for those whose business it is to make that happen, and make it work, it’s an enterprise as financially profitable as it is spiritually uplifting. As ever in Wales, the best of all worlds.