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New Data Reveals Significant Impact of Tourism on Wrexham County

Updated: Sep 11, 2023

New tourism data collated from local hospitality businesses and related 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 50% from 2021 data.


The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct & Canal were inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2009 and the site has since attracted a global audience boosting local visitor numbers.

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.


Wrexham bid for the title of UK City of Culture last year. Despite finishing as runners-up, the appeal of Wrexham's visitor offer gained a further platform for national promotion.

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 Council destination 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”.


The Visitor Information Centre relocated in 2022 to larger premises on Chester St between Ty Pawb & Xplore!, a bold move designed to showcase more Wrexham tourism operators, food & drink and other local producers.

Sam Regan is the 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 at the Lemon Tree and 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.”


In the last 18-months, Wrexham's international profile has raised substantially via the success of the football club and the exposure of the area on the 'Welcome to Wrexham' docu-series.

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.


Wrexham is without doubt more visible and in travellers thoughts and considerations than ever before which is fantastic news!”


The annual 'STEAM' tourism economic impact data for Wrexham County produced by Global Tourism Solutions for 21 Local Authorities across Wales.

Joe Bickerton, Tourism Manager at Wrexham County Borough Council agreed with Sam and Andrew and explained some of the aims of Wrexham’s new Destination Management Plan that will support the tourism sector over the coming years. Joe added;


“The latest results are really positive and cap a decade of positive growth, with an overall increase in our tourism spend of 63%. Our local hospitality businesses should really take huge credit for this, as it’s them who put in the hours and invest, do a lot of outward promotion and ultimately provide the experience which provides the lasting memory of Wrexham.


Thankfully, despite the ongoing challenges which are making margins so tight, we have a raft of businesses here in Wrexham who remain resilient and determined to make a difference and provide a terrific welcome.


“Today we have a global platform afforded to us which we could never buy and we’re all determined to help tourism continue to develop at pace in the coming months and years to benefit Wrexham. We’ve also just launched a new online Tourism Ambassador scheme, received funding for a new 2023/24 brochure, plus new gateway road signage and we are working with the sector to understand more about helping them with the challenges they face to help daily business as we head into 2024.”


Wrexham’s three local tourism websites can be found at;

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