Plans have been unveiled for a brand new tourism route created especially for the increasing number of Japanese visitors fuelling the tourism boom in North Wales.
The Roads of Castles in Wonderland initiative, which takes in Conwy, was revealed by Jim Jones, the managing director of North Wales Tourism, who said the region was now a big hit with visitors from the Land of the Rising Sun.
Mr Jones told a meeting of Wrexham business professionals at the town’s Ramada Hotel there had been an 84 per cent increase in Japanese visitors in the past two years, with almost 2,400 of them between April and September of this year coming via travel agencies that have not previously had North Wales on their itineraries.
According to Mr Jones, North Wales Tourism has been working closely with the high-powered Japanese Association of Travel Agents (JATA).
Earlier this year, he took a seven-strong group from JATA on a whistle-stop tour of World Heritage sites and other attractions in North Wales.
Mr Jones said: “Japanese tourists used to by-pass North Wales, but not anymore.
“We have worked hard to promote the region and as a result, we have seen a sharp rise in the number of Japanese tourists visiting North Wales.
“JATA have now selected 20 of the most beautiful roads in Europe and we were thrilled they picked North Wales as one of those routes.
“They will now be promoting North Wales as The Road of Castles in Wonderland.
“The route starts in Newtown and comes up through, Chirk, Wrexham and Ruthin, before heading to Conwy and Llandudno and down the Conwy Valley to the Llyn Peninsula and looping to Caernarfon and Anglesey.
“Manchester Airport has Hainan from China coming in directly seven days a week. and Cathay Pacific will, from the New Year, hopefully be coming in from Hong Kong seven days a week.”