Tourism brings in money and creates jobs, but increasing or even keeping the same level of tourism in the future cannot be taken for granted!
Last year, 5% fewer people visited some of Wales' most important tourist attractions although more tourists visited places like the British Museum, the Tate Modern Gallery and the National Gallery in London.
It seems that even the most interesting attractions in Wales had fewer visitors last year:
St Fagans National History Museum was the most popular Welsh attraction with 610,155 visitors in 2010. However this was a drop of 2.9% compared with 2009
The National Museum Cardiff had 359,480 visitors, with its visitor numbers down by 3.9% compared with 2009
155,631 people visited Big Pit in Blaenavon in 2010 - a drop of 5% from 2009.
Why do you think Welsh tourist attractions are at a disadvantage when competing with the London attractions for foreign tourists?
Is there somewhere else you would you recommend to foreign tourists to go for a day in Wales? Can you suggest why?
The Welsh Tourism week, linked to the British tourism week, began on 12th March 2011. Its aim was to 'raise local, regional, national and international awareness of the size, value and importance of Britain's £115 billion visitor economy'.
So let's explore facts about tourism in Wales and look at an example of how Wales sells itself abroad. Then let's think about the ideas you may have for your local area as a place for tomorrow's tourists.
Case study - How Wales is sold to the USA
When people have an idea of what a place is like it is call their PERCEPTION. The perception of a place has to be attractive for people to visit it.
The USA is an extremely important source of tourists for the UK. Here is just a snapshot of what is going on across the Atlantic to improve the USA's perception of Wales.
Would it your perception of Wales help you promote tourism?
How would you try to sell holidays in Wales in a foreign country of your choice?
This is your chance to consider the impact of tourism in YOUR area of Wales. Look at the 12 issues in the mind -map on this screen. Start by choosing the name of a tourist area of Wales that you know well and then decide which of the issues shown in the bubbles are benefits and which are problems (colour your copy green and red if you like).