Wales’ tourism industry is experiencing a welcome boost after lockdown restrictions were eased over the weekend.
From Saturday, self-contained accommodation was allowed to reopen for the first time since March. It meant a surge in bookings for holiday parks, cottages and caravan parks.
Andrew Campbell, chair of the Wales Tourism Alliance, said: “There was a flurry of phone calls to properties and agencies, which is simply lovely to see.
“People just wanted to get out and come to Wales. You can feel the joy, it’s radiating off them.”
One topic of debate, controversy and discussion during lockdown was the restrictions on people from England travelling to Wales. Many had assumed they could visit Welsh beauty spots when UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said people could travel ‘as far as they wanted to’ for whatever reason. It resulted in many English travelers receiving fines from Welsh police forces and being sent back home.
Now, however, Andrew Campbell said a “high percentage” of the bookings seen over the weekend are people from England.
Several businesses reported being fully booked within hours of reopening, with one venue describing it as “frantically busy”.
The ability to book self-contained accommodation coincides with the reopening of pubs, restaurants and cafes, albeit only those with outdoor spaces.
Tourism is a key component of the Welsh economy, accounting for around £3 billion or 6% of the total. Certain areas, like Pembrokeshire, lay huge significance on tourism meaning the past few months have been particularly tough, missing out on the start of the summer trade.