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New report reveals how crucial tourism is to Swansea’s economy

Credit: Swansea Council

Swansea Council’s new Destination Management Plan – presented to the council’s ruling cabinet on October 19 – demonstrates the importance of the tourism industry to the local economy and how it supports businesses and employment across the area.

The latest plan is a combined response by the council and its private and public sector partners following the re-opening of the tourism and hospitality industry after Covid.

It focuses on the strategic priorities for the next four years, which are to improve quality, reduce seasonality, encourage sustainability and foster partnership working.

Based on in-depth research, the plan will help the council and its partners to lead, influence and coordinate the management of all aspects of the area that contribute to a visitor’s experience.

Recent research has shown that more than four million people visited Swansea Bay, Mumbles and Gower last year, spending an average of around five nights in the area.

The report states that 99% of visitors who visited in 2022 rated their visit as “very enjoyable” or “enjoyable” with 96% saying they would recommend a visit to the area to someone else.

In recent weeks, the council revealed that tourism’s annual value to the economy of Swansea Bay – Swansea, Mumbles and Gower – had topped £500m for the first time. The industry also supports 5,190 jobs across the area.

The council’s tourism marketing activity successfully promotes the area as a year-round destination, with a number of key campaigns undertaken during the autumn and spring seasons.

Robert Francis-Davies, council cabinet member for investment, regeneration, events and tourism, said: “Our latest Destination Management Plan clearly demonstrates the economic value of tourism to this area.

“It helps us to focus our resources, wherever possible in order to achieve our in our aim of developing a distinctive, high-quality visitor experience, a stronger tourism offer outside summer, a more sustainable approach to tourism – and to encourage growth and prosperity for the local economy.

“Swansea offers a strong rural, coastal and city centre product which, combined with a range of high-profile events, attracts millions of visitors every year.

“Our research shows high levels of satisfaction with many visitors returning year on year to enjoy a holiday in Swansea.

“Our city centre is undergoing a £1bn transformation and major investment is being pumped into new hotels and attractions across the city.

“With yet more exciting developments under way, there’s a strong sense of confidence and optimism amongst local businesses.

“There’s no doubt that now is the time to visit Swansea and also to invest in our thriving destination. Our regeneration plans are also helping to future proof the tourism offer and destination sustainability for many years to come.

“By working closely with colleagues in the private, public and third sectors as well as Visit Wales, the council is committed to building on this success and playing its part in ensuring that our destination grows and prospers sustainably and offers a high-quality visitor experience for the benefit of all.”