The 13 reasons tourists gave for not holidaying in Wales - and 20mph was (minor) one of them

Welcome to Wales sign near Chirk
-Credit: (Image: Hadyn Iball/North Wales Live)


The reasons holidaymakers didn't come to Wales have been revealed in a new report by Visit Wales on the habits of tourists. Welsh Government's tourism body got in touch with over 50,000 'consumer contacts' in the UK and Ireland in February - people who've expressed an interest in visiting the nation by making enquiries.

Of those, just over 6,000 responded by completing a survey about their holidays in Wales or why they didn't come. It was used to discover who and why many came to the country in 2023 and what their experience was like.

But it also gave an insight into the reasons given for not coming to Wales by those who didn't visit in 2023 - with a 13 strong list. These range from the weather to personal circumstances - and included the 20mph limit, although that was very low down on the list.

READ MORE: Report on where Welsh 20mph roads should go back to 30mph and part-time and 'seasonal' limits

READ MORE: Wales has Europe's longest private beach but not many people go there

There was some very positive news in there with nearly two thirds of those surveyed saying they came to Wales in 2023. And of those most (79%) rated their trip as "excellent" and another 19% rated it as "good".

This is testament to the nation's stunning beauty and heritage and the hard work of all those in the sector.

The biggest praise came for the quality of the natural environment, the feeling of safety, the choice of places to visit, the warm Welsh welcome and the customer service and quality of accommodation.

Less well received was the cost and availability of car parking and a lack of public toilets, as well as their cleanliness.

The biggest reason given for coming was that they had been before (48%) which is a good sign that the nation is delivering an enjoyable experience that draws people back.

Once here the most popular activity was walking and hiking (59%) - with eating out and visiting attractions the next two most common answers. Eryri (Snowdonia)was the most popular destination with 27% those who responded saying they had come to the national park. Next up was Pembrokeshire (18%), Llandudno & Colwyn Bay (13%) Mid Wales & Bannau Brycheiniog National Park (11%) and Anglesey(10%).

Around a third agreed that communications from Visit Wales had an influence on their decision to come, particularly motivating them to visit outside of the summer season.

Of those who took the survey, 73% said they planned to visit Wales this year, 17% were undecided and 10% don't expect to come. Of those coming, 60% said they were heading to North Wales.

Around 2,000 (a third) of those surveyed didn't come to Wales in 2023 - with around half going to somewhere else in the UK or Ireland and 29% going further afield, and the rest not taking a holiday.

There was then a list of reasons for not heading to the country. Critics of the 20mph limit in Wales will note that it was given by some as a reason not to come but at just 2% it is at the bottom of the list of 13 reasons.

The biggest reason was actually personal circumstances at 34% - perhaps a reflection on how the UK's cost of living crisis has impacted households. Another reason near the top was health.

Of those surveyed 14% decided to head overseas instead - perhaps after the dismal start to the summer. Others said they had been before and thought it was time for somewhere new.

The Welsh weather was blamed by 4% of people for not making the trip and 3% said Wales was more expensive than other destinations they had looked at, worth considering by those looking to bring in a tourism tax in the country.

There were 6% who said the country wasn't easy to drive around - which reflects on some of the infrastructure issues, particularly when areas are swamped with visitors. The same figure said Wales was too far away and 3% said they were travelling less due to concerns over climate change.

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