Tourists Put Visiting Welsh Castles Ahead of Buck Palace; 10,000 FOREIGN VISITORS GIVE THEIR VIEWS TO VISIT BRITAIN

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), January 13, 2011 | Go to article overview

Tourists Put Visiting Welsh Castles Ahead of Buck Palace; 10,000 FOREIGN VISITORS GIVE THEIR VIEWS TO VISIT BRITAIN


Byline: DANIEL FISHER

FOREIGN visitors to Britain would rather visit Wales' historic castles to visitor attractions including Buckingham Palace and Stonehenge, according to a new report. Research by VisitBritain, who quizzed more than 10,000 foreign tourists, showed Wales' castles were Britain's most popular attraction - polling better than shopping in Harrods or watching Premier League Football.

Researchers gave tourists a list of 18 things that can only be done in Britain, and asked them to pick the ones they'd like to do most.

The number one choice, which received more than a third of the total votes, was to go on a tour of Welsh castles, followed by a visit to Buckingham Palace and staying the night in a Scottish castle.

The news was the second boost for Welsh tourism this week, after a separate report showed the Welsh tourism industry performed strongly last year despite the third wet summer in a row and tough economic conditions.

Assembly Heritage Minister, Alun Ffred Jones, said: "I'm delighted that Wales' castles are such an attraction for our overseas visitors.

"Our 641 castles tell the captivating history of our past and are located in some of the most beautiful spots.

"It's no wonder that they've also captured the hearts and minds of those who took part in the survey." Mr Jones said the Assembly had invested in Wales' history.

He added: "Some 20% of tourism expenditure can be attributed to the importance of the historic environment in attracting visitors. This is why we have invested in many of our important historical sites through the pounds 19m Heritage Tourism project."

Researchers interviewed approximately10,000 adults from 20 nations around the world.

A tour of Wales' castles topped their favourites, followed by a visit to Buckingham palace, a night in a Scottish castle, watching sunrise at Stonehenge and, in equal fifth place, shopping at Harrods and watching a Premier League football match.

Touring the castles of Wales had strong appeal in almost all markets, with Poland (49%), Russia (48%), Italy (46%), and Germany (44%) scoring the highest.

A separate report from the UK Tourism Survey revealed that, despite a small drop in the number ofUKdomestic visitors to Wales, the amount spent by visitors last year actually increased by 3% on 2009. …

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