New tourism data collated from local hospitality businesses and passenger surveys in 2022 has highlighted how Wrexham County experienced its strongest year to date.
The annual STEAM data from Global Tourism Solutions – a national agency which records data for most Local Authority areas across the UK – showed that in 2022, Wrexham benefitted from just over £151m of visitor spend, up by 51% from 2021 data. The report also showed that day visitor numbers increased year-on-year by 33%, with 1.9m day visitors and a further 430,000 staying for more than one night, up 98% from 2021.
Despite recruitment into the hospitality sector continuing to be an issue, in 2022 there were around 1,700 full-time posts sustained in local tourism, with a growth of 36% year-on-year. This does not include seasonal or part-time posts which are common across the sector.
Importantly, the data highlights not only one of the strongest year-on-year increases within Wales, but also shows that the value of tourism in 2022 beat Wrexham County’s performance from a strong pre-pandemic year in 2019, with a 12% growth.
The new data is a reflection of the continued positive appeal of Wrexham County as a destination – from day visits to local attractions, events and business stays in the area.
Picking up on the latest annual results, Lead Member for the Economy at Wrexham County Borough Council, Nigel Williams said; “The latest figures are a further boost for Wrexham and the tourism sector. We’ve seen for ourselves a visible increase in both local and overseas visitors over the last 18-months or so, thanks in part to the exposure granted to our area via the success of the football club, the interest generated via the UK City of Culture bid last year, our ongoing events programme and the day-to-day hard work and passion of our hospitality and event businesses to showcase Wrexham.
“We can’t rest here, as we’re fully committed to bringing more destination events into Wrexham in the near future such as the Tour of Britain cycle race this week and the Eisteddfod in 2025 which will have significant benefits to our economy. We also recognise that a number of challenges continue for our tourism businesses from skills and supply chain shortages, inflation and the looming threat of issues such as a proposed tourism tax here in Wales – but we’ll work in partnership with our trade to tackle these as we can”.
Sam Regan is the owner of the Lemon Tree restaurant with rooms in the City Centre and Chair of the This is Wrexham Tourism Partnership which represents over 60 Wrexham County hospitality businesses.
Sam welcomed the results and said they reflected his perception of the last 12-months, “Thankfully, after the challenges that 2020 & 2021 brought the entire tourism sector, we felt that business picked up significantly last year as confidence to travel and socialise returned somewhat.
“Accommodation – not only at the Lemon Tree – but across Wrexham is in demand, as our traditional midweek business market returned and leisure stays fuelled by local events, interest in Wrexham AFC and staycationers visiting Wrexham keep us busy from Thursday – Sunday. It feels like a good time to be in Wrexham and I’m really confident that this will continue with new investment and the horizon and our strong community support.”
Andrew Plimmer is the Business Development Manager at the Everbright Hotel Group which owns Rossett Hall Hotel in the north of the County. Andrew said that it had been a positive year for the hotel with increased visitor stays and events which contributed towards the figures. Andrew said, “Overall we have experienced a positive year in both leisure and corporate markets.
“Demand, if more-so with later lead times, shows an increase in the number of rooms we have sold at Rossett Hall. Interestingly we have seen an increase in the number of wedding and event enquires further out from Wrexham indicating that people are happy to give greater consideration to our area. We are without doubt more visible and in travellers thoughts and considerations than ever before which is fantastic news!”