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Wales is World Class – and the Destination of Choice for 2020

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Wales has gained recognition from national and international travel experts as being among the best in the world. Duncan Craig the travel editor of The Times and The Sunday Times chose Wales for the ‘Travel Editor’s Award’ at the News UK Travel Awards 2019 in London recently. In presenting the award, he commented; “It’s small but perfectly formed, accessible and welcoming – Wales continues to go from strength to strength as a destination.”

The Wales Way, which is the initiative focused on Wales’ family of touring routes,  has been named among 25 of the best trips in the world to take in 2020, according to the National Geographic’s international editorial teams. The Wales Way featured number 3 in the ‘Adventure Trip’ category, and was hailed for its ‘far reaching routes that get the blood pumping ‘.  Wales was topped by Tasmania, Australia (1) and Grossglockner High Alpine Road, Austria (2), and ahead of Tohoku, Japan (4), Kamchatka, Russia (5), and Zakouma National Park, Chad (6) https://www.nationalgeographic.com/travel/features/best-trips-2020/ .  In addition to this, Adventure Parc Snowdonia won the One for the Kids (family experience) award at the National Geographic Traveller Reader Awards last week.

During the World Travel Market, an international travel trade fair in London, Visit Wales won a Silver Award in the International Travel and Tourism Awards for Best Destination Marketing Campaign – Country , in a hotly contested category – which also included Puerto Rico,  Azerbaijan; KETCHUM INC; Tobago; India and Buzz4Trips.

These accolades follows on from Castle Beach in Tenby winning The Sunday Times’ best beach in the UK award this summer and with eight beaches in the top 40, it was a standout summer for the Welsh coast. Marloes Sands and Rhossili made the top ten. Barmouth came in at number 12, the Llyn’s Porth Iago at 22; Swanlake Bay at 26; and Tor Bay and Mwnt at 36 and 37 respectively.

Wales has also been named in the Lonely Planet’s top 5 best sustainable trips for families, with special mentions of Pembrokeshire’s Green Campsites; The Centre for Alternative Technology and the world’s only people powered rollercoaster in Greenwood Forest Park near Felinheli.

Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Lord Elis-Thomas, said;

“I’m delighted that Wales is getting international recognition for what we see as our inherent strengths – the quality of our environment, sustainability, adventure, accessibility and welcome.   This is brilliant recognition for the hard work of the industry and to the team at Visit Wales for working together to make sure that our best is world class.  Of course, we’ve always known that we’re the best in the world – and it’s fantastic when others agree.”

Wales has also been seen on TV screens in Germany.  Following a visit of the crew from “Tellvision”, Munich arranged by Visit Wales in the summer, a programme which had an audience of 590,000 featured farmer Gareth Wyn Jones in north Wales.

Last month, Conwy and Gwynedd also starred on BBC’s Countryfile looking at north Wales as an ‘adventure playground’ and spending time with inclusive activity groups for girls and those with learning disabilities. The programme also featured an interview with those maintaining the Snowdonia Slate Trail and Matt Baker had a go at Zip World’s quarry karts.