A new team is keen to shout about the best Wrexham has to offer.
Sam Regan, owner of The Lemon Tree, has been appointed to chair This Is Wrexham, with support from Sarah Tunstall from Holt Lodge Hotel.
And they say a collaborative approach is the way forward to continue to grow tourism across Wrexham county.
In 2012 Wrexham Council launched a five-year Destination Management Plan which was shaped around initial feedback from the trade and ambitions to develop visitor experiences at the likes of Trevor Basin, Chirk Castle and Erddig.
At the time the Trevor Basin and wider area was coming to terms with the growing impact of international tourism having been recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2009.
Fast forward to 2018, and tourism figures have grown by 38 per cent, with annual spend now topping £116m per year.
During this time Wrexham’s Destination Partnership Board was a sound adviser and is now in a position to support the council’s tourism team to make that next step.
This will be driven by a new Destination Action Plan, due to go before the Wrexham Council executive board and Destination Partnership Board soon.
With new funding opportunities for private-led tourism groups announced last year, the Partnership agreed to become a not-for-profit Community Interest Company and launched the This Is Wrexham Tourism card to support local tourism businesses and encourage longer stays in the area.
This generated income, along with a new Membership fee for tourism businesses – with most hotels, attractions and leading restaurants now part of it.
The income generated will then be used to partly act as match funding for tourism grants and to provide additional business and marketing support for member businesses.
Chair of the partnership for the last six years has been Peter McGivern of the CAMRA award-winning Bridge End Inn, Ruabon.
Upon taking over the role of chair, Mr Regan said: “Having sat on the board for the This is Wrexham partnership for some time, I have seen and positive impact and immense success of the scheme.
“Since the partnership formed over six years ago the tourism scene in Wrexham has gone from strength to strength, bucking the trend compared to other towns across Wales and the UK.
“One thing that has always stood out to me is the collaborative approach that the private and public take.
“I’m certain this is key to the success of tourism industry in Wrexham and it’s both a privilege and an honour to be taking over as chair at such an exciting time.
“Tourism impacts in all industries, not just hospitality. My mission is to spread the goodwill seen in the hospitality sector into other sectors in Wrexham.
“A destination is a complete package and a positive experience in the back of a taxi, at the local petrol station, or even a laundrette can help to put Wrexham firmly on the map.”
Sarah, marketing manager at Holt Lodge since 2016, added: “It is an absolute privilege to be part of the This is Wrexham Tourism
Partnership which is growing from strength to strength.
“With my experience in marketing and Sam’s in hospitality, I am confident it will benefit the tourism sector of Wrexham and the surrounding counties.”