How do you get to Wales?

Image: Nick Treharne 

Image: Nick Treharne 

When I read on the BBC news that in 2017 Wales only had a 0.5% increase in foreign tourists, compared to a 17% increase in Scotland and 4% increase in London, I couldn’t help but wonder why?

One of the reasons given for Scotland’s performance was the increase in flights to Edinburgh from North America, and there is a hope that Qatar Airlines who are now operating to and from Cardiff will in part help bring more people to Wales.

However, given that getting to Wales from different parts of the world isn’t straightforward it does raise the very real question: How do you get to Wales? So for example, if you live in Miami and want to visit Snowdonia how do you get there? Or if you live in New York and want to visit Swansea, how do you do it? How do you add a trip to Wales to your itinerary if you’re visiting London?

For seasoned travellers this may not be such an issue, however on looking at the Visit Wales website I didn’t say any information to tell people: How to Get to Wales. This could be simple advice around which airports are best depending which parts of Wales you intend to visit, and also explaining how you get from these airports with car hire, train and bus options etc.

This simple extra advice would be easy to put in place and would be more encouraging for potential visitors to book a trip to Wales. If this information is already on site, it’s a huge apology from me. However I didn’t see any, so if it is there this is an opportunity to give it greater prominence on site. 

A more sophisticated option would be to develop a “How to Get to Wales" App, with detailed flight information and route planning, but in the short term simply getting this information on site would be a good start.

This would also give a good first impression of Wales for potential visitors, and anything we can do to make it easier for people to plan and book their trips to Wales, hopefully result in more people coming. 

Ironically, in Wales we’re all too used to crossing the border to reach our international destinations or using Amsterdam and Dublin as connecting hubs. So it makes sense that we reverse this perspective, and share with potential visitors ways to get to Wales to make it easier for them to come and enjoy everything the country has to offer.