Wales

Activity holidays in north Wales 'to bring 1,000 jobs'

  • 27 April 2011
  • From the section Wales
Mountain biker
Image caption North Wales is well placed to pick up on a rise in adventure tourism, say bosses

Adventure tourism is set to bring 1,000 jobs in north Wales over the next five years, business bosses say.

Tourism Partnership North Wales said the sector, which has 350 firms, was a "vital contributor" to the economy.

A business forum meeting heard activities like mountain climbing, mountain biking, paddle sports, or even just walking had "street cred".

The forum, in Llanrwst, also had a preview of a mobile phone app developed by Snowdonia National Park Authority.

Tourism Partnership North Wales is one of four regional tourism partnerships in Wales charged by the assembly government to have a strategic view of tourism policy in Wales.

Regional strategy director Dewi Davies said north Wales was well placed to cash in on increasing popularity of outdoor activities.

He said: "It is not a kiss-me-quick industry but one which is a vital contributor to the economy of north Wales."

Delegates at the first Outdoor North Wales Forum in Llanrwst were told about the planned Snowdonia smartphone no-cost app.

The park authority's communications director John Ablitt said that as well as offering information about the park and its attractions, it would also make clear what people should expect if they were planning to walk in the mountains for the first time.

He said: "We have half a million people walking on Snowdon each year and we want to ensure that they get the correct information in the most modern way.

Image caption Tourism bosses want to encourage more activity holidays in north Wales

"We have put a lot of thought into this because we believe it is the way forward."

Karen Plumb, from the travel social media website Trip Advisor told delegates: "The future is digital - be part of it."

The site has been criticised by some tourism operators for carrying damning reviews of their premises or services.

Ms Plumb said the vast majority of people now went on-line when planning to travel and review sites like Trip Advisor were proven to be hugely influential.

And despite the fears and concerns of operators, the average score awarded on Trip Advisor was 3.5 out of a possible 5, she added.

She urged operators to respond positively and professionally to consumers' comments, thus turning the situation to their advantage.

Peter Hewlett, from Aberdaron, represented Walking North Wales, whose aim is to attract more walkers to the region.

He said work was already in progress on the Pilgrims' Trail across north Wales and Alun Baines, from Corwen, told the audience of moves to establish an Owain Glynd┼Ár Way between Sycharth, near Llansilin, and Glyndyfrdwy, near Corwen.

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