Dragons help Welsh attractions have legendary summer

Welsh museums and heritage attractions saw record visitor numbers over the summer, thanks in part to Visit Wales’ Year of Legends campaign.

More than half a million visitors explored Cadw (Welsh heritage) sites during July and August – the highest number ever during the summer season and an increase of 8.2% year-on-year.

It means that annual visitor numbers are on track to reach 1.5 million for the first time by the end of the year.

Much of the growth is attributed to Cadw’s Live the Legends campaign, which brought a family of Welsh dragons to life, as part of the 2017 Year of Legends.

Meanwhile, Amgueddfa Cymru – a family of seven museums in Wales – welcomed almost 300,000 visitors in August; a record for August and up 19% year-on-year.

The increase in visitors is thanks to several developments, including the Dinosaur Babies exhibition at National Museum Cardiff; the re-opening of the main building and new developments at St Fagans National Museum of History, and the Dino on the Loose campaign.

Ken Skates, economy secretary, said: “It’s extremely encouraging that these figures show that 2017 is really proving to be another successful year for tourism in Wales.

“We’ve seen two very successful years and we’re looking to sustain that growth.

“Although there is much uncertainty, it’s evident that the weaker pound has meant that more people are opting to holiday at home this year.

“The figures…also show that innovative ideas such as the touring dragons and Dino on the Loose can capture the imagination and spark a renewed interest in Welsh heritage.”

Picture shows dragons Dwynwen, Cariad and Dylan at Harlech Castle.
© Crown copyright (2017) Cadw, Welsh Government