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Written statement on the activities of the Welsh Government in promoting Wales during the Olympics

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Edwina Hart, Minister for Business, Enterprise, Technology and Science


Visit Wales will help ensure that the Welsh tourism industry benefits, as much as possible, from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games being staged this summer.

As is appropriate, Visit Wales leverage of the Games is being undertaken in close collaboration with long-time partners, Visit Britain, including liaison with them on the extensive “Great Britain – You’re Invited” Campaign. This is intended to ensure that audiences viewing this campaign and considering a trip to, or around, Britain are made fully aware of the additional attractions of a visit to Wales. The aim is to position Wales as a potential alternative for visitors, from UK and overseas, who may be seeking to spend some time away from London during the Games, and as another location from which to enjoy many Games-time experiences.

Visit Wales activity has, therefore, included:

  • Providing appropriate press stories, images and video materials to Visit Britain for inclusion in the “You’re Invited” campaign
  • Taking steps to ensure that images of Wales are considered for inclusion in the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympic Games
  • Providing supporting information for press toolkits being distributed to the world’s media by Visit Britain 
  • Ensuring an effective Wales presence in the Visit Britain-run media center operating in central London during the run-up to, and then for the duration of, both the Olympic and Paralympic Games
  • Establishing and maintaining links with official overseas broadcasters attending the Games and ensuring that they have access to Visit Wales-generated film footage

Efforts will concentrate specifically on drawing additional attention to two important projects for future tourism in Wales – the Wales Coast Path, recently launched by VW and partners, and the forthcoming celebrations to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of Dylan Thomas. Journalists visiting the UK this summer will be encouraged to come to Wales in order to learn more about both programmes, as well as to cover a unique Welsh offering – the World Alternative Games 2012, to be staged in Llanwrtyd Wells.

In addition, special efforts will be made, in collaboration with appropriate partners, to feature Cardiff as Wales’ Olympic venue city in relevant publicity material and press visits.

This activity will form part of a coordinated promotional and publicity offer from Visit Wales. The relay, this week, of the Olympic flame around Wales has showcased key Welsh locations to a world-wide audience and next month Visit Wales will undertake an e-mailing to 100,000 customer database contacts, featuring locations on the Olympic torch route and detailing alternative places to visit in each area.

Communication with the influential UK and international travel trade during this time will reflect Wales’ role in helping to host, mark and celebrate the Games, including Wales’ contribution to the Cultural Olympiad and Wales’s success in attracting teams to undertake their pre-Games training camps at Welsh sporting venues. To this end, a VIP familiarization visit to Wales, hosting up to 20 Chief Executives of leading tour operator companies, will be undertaken in August.