TOURISM in Denbighshire has continued to grow as new figures reveal a significant year-on-year increase over the last decade.

The latest STEAM economic impact figures show that in 2017 tourism brought £490.35m into the Denbighshire economy, an increase of 2.3 per cent on 2016, and of 70 per cent since 2007.

Last year tourism supported 6,231 jobs in Denbighshire, while 5.93m people visited the county, which is an increase of 25 per cent since 2007.

The number of staying visitors has increased by 50 per cent between 2007 and 2017, with 1.5m contributing a total of £331.36m.

Cllr Hugh Evans, leader of Denbighshire County Council, said: “The latest figures showing an increase in the overall economic benefit of tourism in Denbighshire are really encouraging, despite 2017 being a challenging year in terms of the weather.

“The county has so much to offer, a beautiful coastline, rural market towns, areas of outstanding natural beauty, a host of outdoor activities as well as a wealth of history and some fantastic local produce and shops.

“Particularly encouraging is the increase in coastal tourism. With the addition of two new hotels in Rhyl, the SC2 visitor attraction due to open next year, as well as the already established 1891 restaurant and the Nova in Prestatyn, we would expect these figures to continue to grow. This shows investment from the Council and the private sector is having a real impact on the economic prosperity of Denbighshire, which is a priority under our Corporate Plan.”

Dave Jones, who owns the four-star Plas Efenechtyd Cottage B&B, near Ruthin, said: “We have seen an increase in overseas visitors staying longer, especially from the Netherlands, Germany and the USA. This year bookings over the summer months have been strong.

“Most people arrive with an idea of what they want to see and do but without much knowledge of Welsh history, geography and politics, something I would like to see addressed.

“The latest figures are encouraging and we look forward to continuing to work with Denbighshire and other key partnerships like the Clwydian Range Tourism Group to create themed itineraries and create attractive packages that will appeal to a variety of visitors.”

Meanwhile, Frank Gledhill, general manager at The Talardy hotel and restaurant in St Asaph, said he has expanded his business due to the increase in tourism in recent years: “The increase in tourism has been of huge benefit because for us that means an increase in trade.

“In March last year we opened an extra 24 bedrooms, increasing from 11 to 35 in total, which was based on the increase in tourism.

“Demand is always higher during the school holidays but we have been able to fill the rooms all year round.”