Benefits to business of the National Trails in Wales
The three National Trails are an important component of Wales’ tourism product, providing named and saleable product, with associated landscape images and promised experiences that can be used to draw potential visitors to Wales.
In October 2005, the Countryside Council for Wales (CCW) commissioned The Tourism Company to carry out a study that would inform its understanding of the benefit that the National Trails bring to local businesses, and guide its work in trail management and promotion. Economic impact was considered from the supply side, with a focus on the full range of businesses that provide services to walkers making use of one of the Trails.
This involved an audit of businesses along each Trail; a postal survey of 600 accommodation enterprises to gather information about services provided to Trail users and an estimate of the influence of each Trail on business levels and customers; an in depth survey of service providers in 5 selected trail sections; an investigation of how Trails are presented and promoted to potential users, and interviews with walking tour operators.
Our research showed that accommodation and service providers have a special relationship to the National Trails and are well placed to benefit from, and also to contribute to, their success. Accommodation enterprises with good access to one or more of the National Trails have been able to use this market advantage to grow and develop.
Enterprises believe that the National Trails offer a distinctive experience that is valued and appreciated by their visitors; they are also valued by enterprises because they provide an experience in which their visitors can have confidence. A set of actions were identified that CCW should pursue, in partnership with the relevant local and National Park authorities and VisitWales, to ensure that local businesses are enabled to build further upon the economic benefit that they currently derive from the National Trails in Wales.
The full report is available here .