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Tourism hots pot Wales looks to a busy Easter.

HOLIDAY businesses in North Wales are set for a busy Easter as new figures show the Welsh tourist trade is outperforming the rest of the UK.

The latest assessment from the Wales Tourist Board is bound to boost the industry's confidence at the start of the holiday season.

Visitors to Wales in 2003 spent pounds 1.7bn -an increase of 14pc -at a time when spending in the UK as a whole was down 1pc.

Now many tourism promoters and operators in North Wales have already hung out the ``no vacancies'' signs with prospects high for a bumper weekend.

Traditionally Easter heralds the start of the new season but this year many operators enjoyed a flying start during the February school half term.

Director of North Wales Tourism Partnership Dewi Davies said: ``Bookings look very good for Easter and for the season as a whole,particularly in the self-catering sector.

``Serviced accommodation -hotels, guest houses and B&Bs -in hot spots like Betws y Coed is totally booked for the holiday weekend.''

Wales Tourism Alliance chairman Julian Burrell said: ``Forward bookings taken for the Easter holiday weeks in the self-catering sector were buoyant and the last fortnight has seen good demand for short breaks that have filled in the gaps''.

The Welsh Association of Visitor Attractions (WAVA) is hoping to build on last year's improved business.

The 18th-century Plas Newydd in Llangollen re-opened its doors on April 1 with new features, including a tea-room,audio tour and refurbished servant's room open for the first time.

The VisitWales centre reported an increase in the volume of calls from people asking for information on Easter despite less than encouraging weather in the run-up.

Accommodation was filling up quickly with most self-catering accommodation in Snowdonia,Anglesey,Tenby,and mid Wales,already fully booked, the tourist board said.
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Apr 7, 2004
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