The final round of the WRC, Wales Rally GB Is said to have brought an estimated £10m boost to the North Wales economy.
According to the Wales Daily Post – Llandudno was filled with around 10,000 people on Sunday to see Sebastien Ogier take the honours at the end of the four-day event. Andrew Coe, Chief executive of rally organisers IMS said: “We estimate that the event brought £10m to the economy of Flintshire, Gwynedd, Conwy, Denbighshire, Wrexham and Powys as well. We had different stages and there were benefits for petrol stations, restaurants as well as hotels and guest houses. Six hundred million people around the world will see pictures of places such as the Great Orme, Llandudno which have been on S4C. As many as a 100 million will see these pictures over the next few days.”
His colleague, Jonathan Gill, said: “We haven’t had some of the figures about car park attendances yet but in Deeside, for example, there were some 10,000 in the service park. School children were able to visit the Toyota factory on Deeside and see engine building as well as events on at Venue Cymru, Llandudno.
Tourism Partnership North Wales’ Dewi Davies said: “It brought people out of their homes here in North Wales and attracted thousands of visitors from over the border in England. “Anecdotally, there was a lot of traffic on the A55 last night as people made their way back home. All the 100 rooms at the St David’s Park, Ewloe were booked up by competitors. “There will be clips of the rally showing different parts of rural Wales now being shown all over the world which will get people asking about Wales. Many of the pictures will have Visit Wales hoardings.”
David Williams of the Ambassador Hotel, Llandudno, said: “It’s made a tremendous difference to the resort from a marketing point of view with top drivers and the world’s media taking part. It was good for the restaurants as well.”
St George’s Hotel’s Nathan Cousins said: “We picked up a couple of teams but were a bit disappointed there were no support or organising teams here. They were staying in areas such as Deeside and Chester.”
The Daily post reports that, not everybody was happy with the rally’s organisation, with reports of major traffic jams around Chirk on Saturday, when the spectator car park was full. Ken Jones, who lives in Chirk said: “It took me an hour to go from Chirk to Ruabon it was blocked for miles in all directions.”
Mr Coe said: “We are going to carry out our own inquiry into why it didn’t work as effectively as we wanted it to. But we were genuinely surprised by the number that were trying to get to the venue and apologise for those people who didn’t get there. We are looking at alternatives such as a park and ride and a other car parks.”
Source: Wales Daily Post