The Welsh Government’s historic environment service (Cadw) is celebrating yet another triumphant year, with admissions revenue at an all-time high.
Figures released by the Welsh Government show that more than 907k paying visitors have explored Cadw sites since January, generating an impressive £4.4m in admissions revenue — a rise of almost 20 per cent on 2016.
The number of members is also higher than ever before, with more than 32,000 currently registered — an increase of 10 per cent on 2016.
The impressive results mark the end of another hugely successful year for Cadw — a highlight of which being the Live the Legends campaign which saw a family of dragons brought to life to celebrate Wales’s 2017 Year of Legends.
Over July and August, the dragons, Dewi, Dwynwen, Dylan and Cariad, helped attract more than 100k families to Cadw sites — up 15 per cent on the same period last year.
The campaign also saw the creation of Augmented Reality game, Little Dragons, which added to the excitement, encouraging people of all ages to ‘snap’ virtual dragons at seven castles across Wales.
The themed years also make a difference to Wales’ bottom line. Figures from the Tourism Barometer show that 2017 has been a successful year for the tourism industry in Wales. 42% of businesses have had more visitors than last year, and a 39% have had the same level. Figures also show that visitors to Wales are spending more on their trips to Wales – which makes all the difference to the economy.
Of all Cadw sites, Conwy Castle attracted the highest number of visitors this year, welcoming 218,907 people, followed closely by Caernarfon Castle, which attracted 206,185 visitors.
Minister for Culture Dafydd Elis-Thomas said,
“This year, Cadw has endeavoured to find new and innovative ways of engaging the people of Wales and beyond with our country’s rich heritage –– and these fantastic figures show that it’s done just that.
“Our historic sites play a vital role in Welsh tourism and we hope that we can continue to capture the imagination of locals and visitors alike as we approach the end of Wales’s Year of Legends and enter the Year of the Sea in 2018.”