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Fine outlook boosts hope for tourism.

Byline: ERYL CRUMP

TOURISM chiefs in North Wales are looking forward to a bumper holiday season.

Bookings for Easter are up, and there has been a marked increase in calls for the rest of the season.

Weather forecasters are also predicting a ``warm and settled'' Easter weekend.

Visitor figures in North Wales were up 8pc last year while other parts of Britain saw a decrease.

Dewi Davies, director of Tourism Partnership North Wales, said the weather last year had led to the upsurge.

He told the Daily Post: ``It was a very good year in North Wales last year and people tend to remember that, making them think of returning. We set ourselves a target of 300,000 enquiries during January and February and actually achieved 470,000. ``So we are optimistic that the region will enjoy another very good year.''

Mr Davies added visitor figures are up in both the short break and summer holiday markets.

``We are particularly heartened at the numbers of people making a visit to North Wales their main holiday of the year. That's running at about 5pc and that is very good indeed.

``While this is welcome, we are also pursuing the short break market vigorously. The region currently has 4pc of the UK market,''he said.

He said the short break business is very competitive, with North Wales having to fight not only other regions in the UK but visits to Europe.

``Low cost airlines have made the competition even harder and we must maintain the area's advantages in the public perception as much as possible. ``People visit North Wales to enjoy the coastline and the mountains,and in that respect we have a huge advantage in that decisions to travel can be made at relatively short notice. ``On the other hand we are keen to attract more incoming visitors from the areas where the low cost airlines have started new routes from Liverpool and Manchester Airports. ``We are promoting short breaks and main holidays in North Wales in places like Amsterdam, Barcelona and Paris.''

Better transport links between the two North West airports and North Wales would help the industry and Mr Davies is pleased that Taith, the local authority transport consortium, has made this a priority.
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Mar 29, 2004
Words:375
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