Green Bridge of Wales, Castlemartin, Pembrokeshire Coast
Tourism Minister Lord Elis-Thomas has launched Wales’ third themed Year in a bid to set the country’s tourism agenda for the coming year.
It will be known as Year of the Sea 2018 and provides Wales with the opportunity to make its mark as one of Europe’s top coastal destinations.
Following the success of Year of Adventure 2016 and Year of Legends 2017, Year of the Sea is a continuation of Visit Wales’ work to build a positive perception of Wales.
The themed years were initially developed in a bid to highlight Wales’ strengths and build upon its tourism offer to capitalise on opportunities happening each year.
Lord Elis-Thomas said: “Following a focus on adventure and legends, we now have an opportunity to celebrate Wales’ coastline and build on Wales’ strengths as a coastal destination.
“As we launch this new initiative it’s fantastic news that the Rough Guides have named Wales as one of the top 5 places in the world to visit – testimony that we’re making a name for ourselves in this global marketplace.
“The themed year gives us a chance to celebrate our unique 870-mile Wales Coast Path, our 230 beaches and 50 islands and the fact that we have more Blue Flag beaches per mile than anywhere else in Britain.
“Year of the Sea will be about more than our coastline. We’ll be using the year as an opportunity to focus on Wales’ shores, and this will include not only our seas, but everything from our lakes, to our rivers, and journeys to the sea and will be a celebration of our coastal communities and culture.
“We’ll be using the Wales Way, an ambitious new family of three national scenic touring routes that cross the country’s most epic landscapes as a way of showcasing Wales’ fascinating history, coastlines and attractions.”
“This year, leading up to 2018 has been a time for planning and developing and establishing new partnerships. Sustainability and Marine Environment are high on the agenda as is safety on the sea and ensuring that everyone enjoys the beaches
The Welsh Government is consulting with the Welsh National Marine Plan to secure a joined-up and sustainable approach to the planning and management of the Welsh coast.
Hannah Mills, MBE, double Olympic medalist and
“Growing up in Cardiff and exploring the coasts and seas around Wales from Anglesey to Mumbles, the Welsh coastline has had a huge impact on shaping my earlier career.
“Those memories and beautiful experiences sailing in such a stunning place remain very firmly in my mind.
“My family are still based in Cardiff, and for me, it will always be home. When I won gold in Rio, the warmth and support I got from back home
The previous two themed years have seen great success. Year of Adventure 2016 generated an additional £370 million for the Welsh economy – an 18% increase on 2015.
Meanwhile, Year of Legends 2017 saw 42% of businesses report more visitors than the previous year and key tourism sites such as Cadw and National Museum Wales also saw record-breaking numbers.
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