10 October 2011

Tourism industry enjoyed unexpected autumn boost

Following a cool summer, unseasonably warm weather gave a welcome boost to tourist attractions across the region at the beginning of the month. 

In North East Wales, Wepre Park and Loggerheads Country Park both reported a massive rise in visitor numbers, GreenfieldValley Heritage Park experienced an influx of tourists (having already reported a 10% increase this year) and the Met Office revealed that the village of Hawarden had made it into the record books when temperatures peaked at 28.2C (82.8F) there on 1st October.

Meanwhile, in North West Wales, resorts such as Llandudno had camera crews filming on their busy beaches. Hoteliers were shown putting up ‘No Vacancy’ signs and telling reporters they could hardly believe their luck at a time of year when some were preparing to close for the season. Thousands also headed off for the mountains of Snowdonia.

As Merseyside basked in the heatwave, ticket sales at tourist attractions topped the expectations of even the most optimistic analysts. People visiting Knowsley Safari Park watched baboons slurping ice creams and local newspapers published pictures of the animals basking in Mediterranean-like warmth.

In Cheshire, visitor numbers to Chester Zoo rose by 149% in just one day and over 20,000 people flocked to watch the spectacled bears eat frozen watermelon and the elephants being hosed down by the keepers.

There was also positive news from the hospitality sector with hotels and restaurants recording the strongest increase in consumer spending in September (Visa Europe's Expenditure Index).

Image: © Britainonview / Rod Edwards 2011

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