Travel Trade Wales

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Wales Travel Trade update January 2017

 Year of Legends 2017


Visit Wales’ themed years continue in 2017 with Year of Legends and will follow with Year of the Sea in 2018. A guide for Year of Legends is available, packed with information on Wales’ legendary stories and people, illustrated with beautiful photography, many of which come from our image library. If you wish to receive a pdf version of the Year of Legends guide please email


Lonely Planet has named North Wales in their Top Ten ‘Best in Travel 2017’ list – the only destination in the UK. Lonely Planet stated it ‘‘earned its place as a must-see destination for 2017 thanks to the region’s reinvention‘. This particularly refers to the way an old aluminium works in Dolgarrog has been redeveloped and is now Surf Snowdonia, Penrhyn Quarry is the amazing setting for Zip World Velocity, and if you visit Bounce Below you’ll be bouncing around in what was once a Victorian slate mine. 


A new Visit Wales Travel Trade map includes a ‘Legendary locations in Wales’ section and a larger and detailed map. If you would like copies for your office, please email


Rabbie’s are offering a new Discover Wales - 5 Day Tour with departures starting April 2017.


Rebranded Cambria DMC (formally Cambria Tours) are introducing their new shorter guaranteed weekly departure tours ‘A Snapshot of Wales’. Their current ‘Castles, Coasts and Celts’ seven night product will continue as a monthly guaranteed departure.


Thanks to the new Madrid to Cardiff route (operated byIberia Express), British Airways Holidays has now added more hotels to strengthen their Welsh portfolio –with 11 Cardiff hotels as well as hotel product in Swansea, Snowdonia, Prestatyn, Llandudno and Cardiff Airport making it easier to plan a pan Wales holiday itinerary as well as combining with a wider UK holiday. It will start at Easter 2017 and then from June to September 2017. 


The UEFA Champions League Final will be held in Cardiff on 3rd June 2017, the first European Cup decider to be held in Wales. The Women’s final takes place on 1st June 2017.


A new high-tech history map allows visitors to explore Wales’ historic sites. Pinpoint over 50 of Wales’ best historic sites by separating them into different themes of Welsh history. A series of audio guides have also been released telling the stories of four of Wales’ best loved ‘heroes and heroines.


Re-opening of Yr Ysgwrn home of Welsh legend ‘Hedd Wyn’ - a traditional Welsh farmhouse in Snowdonia, home of Eisteddfod winning poet ‘Hedd Wyn’ re-opens in spring 2017. This £3million project ensures it retains its charm and quirkiness with improved visitor facilities. 



Arriva Trains Wales triples the services from Manchester Airport to north Wales– visitors can now travel direct by train from the airport along the north Wales coast, terminating at Llandudno. 


Big Train Meets Little Train, a new guide book and website with suggestions on a range of trips into and around Wales by public transport including our 11 Great Little Trains of Wales. 


The Guardian has named the Cambrian Coast Railway line as one of the world’s top 10 epic train journeys. 


By the start of the 2018 season a new Welsh Highland Railway station in Caernarfon will be open. The £2.2m station will form a key part of the £16m Waterfront Development Project and will include retail, catering and a spacious modern interpretation area showcasing the history of the quayside area and the railway


Llechwedd Slate Caverns new Deep Mine Tour and Quarry Explorer – travel into the heart of the mountain (500 feet underground) with expert local guides on the steepest cable railway in Britain and experience the clock turn back 160 years. The Quarry Explorer 4 x 4 adventure takes visitors 1400ft up in to the amazing slate mountains.  


Anglesey Walking Holidays and Wales Walking Holidays have created a special package concentrating on Wales’ epic myths and legends of the past, present and future for the Year of Legends 2017. They have been designed to take walkers on routes that follow in the footsteps of legendary and mythical characters and places, including historical figures, artists, saints, wizards and engineers. The 6 night, 5 day walking self guided package includes accommodation, routes, luggage transfers, maps and full back up service. 


Legendary Castles & Gardens itineraries for Group Travel in South West Wales - Itineraries include 1 to 5-day options, accessible tours, wet weather friendly venues and driving tours that take in some of the region’s finest attractions and landscapes. 


A new South West Wales Legends Cycle Route has been launched. Visitors can enjoy 1-4 days cycling covering 190km and explore the legendary tales and sightseeing highlights of the area. The guide also includes transport links, local cycle hire, tips of where to stay and eat. The route is suitable for all levels, follows much of the National Cycle Network paths, starting at Afan Forest Park and ending in Fishguard. The routes are free to access and download from:


ZipWorld now offers 11 unique adventures in 3 stunning locations in north Wales. The new visitor centre with a view point over the quarry lake at ZipWorld Velocity (the fastest zip line in the world in the world) is due to open by 1st April. Also, due to open some time in 2017, the joy of ziplines comes to south Wales at the iconic Celtic Manor Resort. 


Surf Snowdonia Adventure Parc, a world-first inland surf lagoon, now offers a unique corporate events space – a Nordic TiPi which can cater for up to 130 delegates. It also offers a range of team building activities and accommodation. 


The Vale Resort unveils Hensol Castle’s new conference venue - a 400 year old historic castle which has been used as a stage for Sherlock Holmes, Doctor Who and Torchwood, has now opened as a conference venue. On the grounds of the Vale Resort, the venue has capacity to hold up to 320 delegates and plans to add 30 bedrooms.


Celtic Manor opens new Coldra Court Hotel offering 148 bedrooms, takes the Celtic Manor’s total bedroom stock to almost 600 - when added to the 330 room Resort Hotel, the 19th Century Manor House, the Newbridge on Usk, and 10 Hunter Lodges. The Coldra Court also houses a Health Club with swimming pool, spa bath and gym, Seasons Restaurant, and 9 conference and meeting rooms, including the Severn Suite which can seat 220 people for a celebration dinner. Located just a few minutes from the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport, the Coldra Court enjoys the same direct access.

The International Convention Centre Wales at Celtic Manor Resort is due to open June 2019. It will include a 1,500-seat auditorium and separate exhibition hall which, at 4,000 square metres, will provide the largest pillar-free ballroom in Europe, capable of hosting 2,400 people for a gala dinner.


Hotel Indigo, a new 122 room 4-star boutique hotel, is due to open in Cardiff in May and will feature the country’s second rooftop Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar & Grill.


Palé Hall has re-launched as one of the UK’s finest country house hotels with renowned Chef Michael Caines overseeing the menus at the exclusive fine dining restaurant.

The Swan at Hay, a beautiful listed Georgian hotel with 19 en-suite bedrooms and banquet facilities for up to 120 people, has been refurbished and restored to its former glory.


BritAgent - overseas based operators can become a Wales expert and learn more about planning their clients holidays to Wales.

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