Tourism and attractions such as the National Slate Museum, Oriel Mostyn gallery and Llangollen railway are vitally important to the North Wales economy, said the Secretary of State for Wales today.
Speaking during a two day visit to North Wales, Mrs Gillan said North Wales can play a key role in the Government’s aspirations for the UK to become one of the top five tourist destinations in the world
Mrs Gillan visited the National Slate Museum in Llanberis to see how the museum is preserving and illustrating Wales’ slate industry heritage. During the visit to the award winning museum, Mrs Gillan watched a demonstration of slate splitting by one of the quarrymen.
Following the visit to the museum, Mrs Gillan visited the Tree Top Lodge in Betws y Coed. The company, which opened in 2007, provide children, individuals and businesses with a high level adventurous journey through the trees negotiating a series of obstacles.
The following day, Mrs Gillan met staff and toured the Oriel Mostyn Gallery in Llandudno. The gallery was the first in the world built to show the work of female artists and was made a legacy to the town of Llandudno by the gallery’s creator and owner, Lady Augusta Mostyn.
After a tour of the gallery, Mrs Gillan visited Llangollen Railway where she saw a vintage railway vehicle that has been renovated and transformed into a life sized version of the character ‘Clarabel’ from the popular children’s stories ‘Thomas the Tank Engine’.
Mrs Gillan said: “Tourism is vitally important to the North Wales economy, bringing in up to £1.8 billion of income to the region and supporting around 37,000 jobs. The tourist attractions I have visited over the last two days all contribute to this and will continue to do so in the future.
“With the summer holidays well underway, there is a wealth of visitor attractions in North Wales for a day out which are right on our doorsteps. From our slate industry heritage which is bidding for World Heritage Status, our vibrant galleries such as Mostyn to ‘Clarabel’ at Llangollen railway, there really is something for everyone to enjoy this summer.
“As a government, we recognise the vital role tourism plays in our economy and as the Prime Minister recently revealed our aspiration is to see the UK as one of the top five tourist destinations in the world. North Wales’ tourist attractions can play a key role in helping us realise this ambition and we will continue to work with the Welsh Assembly Government to take this forward.”
During her visit to North Wales, Secretary of State also visited the set of Rownd a Rownd, the Welsh language soap opera for young people; saw first hand Wales Council for Voluntary Action’s Rhyl Football in the Community project which aims to help disengaged 16-19 year olds to return to education and employment; and visited Wylfa power station and the Sharp factory in Wrexham to hear their recent £30m investment and plans for the future.