Bryn on Song with Faenol Festival; AWARDS: Tourism Industry Salutes Top Performers as Businesses Fight Back after Foot-and-Mouth

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), April 12, 2002 | Go to article overview

Bryn on Song with Faenol Festival; AWARDS: Tourism Industry Salutes Top Performers as Businesses Fight Back after Foot-and-Mouth


Byline: CARL YAPP

WELSH opera star Bryn Terfel hit the right note with the tourist industry last night when his increasingly popular Faenol Festival, at Caernarfon, was named as The Greatest Show in Wales at the Wales Tourism Awards 2002.

The annual summer celebration of music and song, now in its third year, has attracted big names such as West End and Broadway star Michael Ball and American soprano Denyce Graves, and has been televised as far afield as Japan, Australia and the USA.

The prestigious title was presented to festival organisers the Harlequin Agency and IMG Arts and Entertainment of Cardiff during a gala dinner and evening of entertainment, attended by several hundred tourism industry representatives at St David's Park Hotel, Deeside, last night.

The awards are organised by the Wales Tourist Board in association with The Western Mail.

A delighted Bryn, who is currently performing at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, described the award as a big boost to the three-day festival, which last year attracted 20,000 visitors to the Faenol Estate close to Caernarfon.

He said, "I am deeply honoured that the festival could receive this award after only two years of its existence. I have long waited to bring top-class entertainment to perform near my home in Gwynedd.

"It has been very heart-warming to see how well it has been received both by local people and the thousands who travel from further afield."

The Greatest Show in Wales was one of 12 awards handed out during last night's event, which was designed to celebrate the achievements of the top performers in the pounds 2bn-ayear visitor industry.

Guest of honour, Andrew Davies, Economic Development Minister in the National Assembly, said, "Tourism is central to the Welsh economy and will be an important creator of prosperity in the future.

"In order to make Wales a topclass location for visitors we must offer the best.

"These awards highlight the high standards of achievement across Wales.

"Despite the setback of foot-andmouth last year, there are already very encouraging signs that visitors are returning to Wales.

"I am sure that this event will provide an important morale booster for the industry at the start of the new holiday season."

Winners of last night's titles ranged from guest-house owner Kevin Jones, who persuaded 70 fellow tourism businesses in Betws y Coed, to market themselves on the internet, to the Mid Wales community of Llanwrtyd Wells, whose imaginative annual events have generated more than pounds 7m for their local economy.

Kevin took the title Making IT Work for Tourism, while Llanwrtyd Wells, which organises such off-beat events as the Man Against Horse Marathon and the World Bog Snorkelling Championships, was honoured for Community Tourism.

The celebrated Museum of Welsh Life at St Fagans, Cardiff, received the Wales Wow Factor award for providing the Best Visitor Experience, while the Welsh Slate Museum at Llanberis received the Sense of Place award for creating a distinctively Welsh environment.

On the food front, the Fairyhill hotel and restaurant near Swansea, which majors on Welsh gourmet dishes such as sea bass in laverbread butter sauce, took the Taste of Wales title. Up-and-coming chef Benny Shingler, 21, of the Royal Sportsman Hotel, Porthmadog, was declared the industry's Young Achiever of the Year.

The prized Best Place to Stay award was shared this year between the Bell Inn at Skenfrith near Abergavenny, and the Tywyn Holiday Cottage at Nantmor near Beddgelert in Gwynedd.

The Brynteg Holiday Home Park near Caernarfon, owned by Talacre Beach Caravan Sales of Flintshire, was honoured for Investing for Success, after installing ultra-modern facilities for guests. …

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