Almost a year to the day since its official opening, the Wales Coast Path is marking its first anniversary and looking back on the successful launch of this 870 mile-long public footpath – which has opened up the coastline of Wales to the rest of the world.
In the first year, 2.8 million people walked stretches of the Wales Coast Path contributing £16 million to the Welsh economy. And more than 800,000 visitors to the path also stayed the night in one of the many guesthouses, b&bs and hotels located along the way.
Three simultaneous launch events were held across Wales last summer to mark its official opening, with thousands of visitors and local people joining the celebrations. Global media attention shone a spotlight on Wales to help publicise this continuous path around the entire country’s coastline – the first of its kind in the world.
Emyr Roberts, Chief Executive of Natural Resources Wales, which manages the path, said: “The Wales Coast Path is a great example of how the environment can help many different parts of society. It helps the tourism industry, boosts our urban and rural economies, and encourages people to get out and about to enjoy some of the best parts of our environment. “The first year was a great start, but there is so much more we can do. During the next year we’ll be working hard to try and get even more people – locals and visitors alike – to take advantage of this wonderful natural resource.”
Sue Rice, Project Manager for the Wales Coast Path, said: ‘Teams of people across Wales worked tirelessly to get everything in place for the launch. Now, a year on, we’re able to see how this unique landmark is bringing benefits to Wales as a walking destination.” “The last year has been a great success. It has seen the launch of a fully interactive website, a busy programme of marketing activity, as well as a number of further improvements to sections of the path. “The future continues to look very bright as Wales looks forward to encouraging local use, as well as welcoming more and more visitors to enjoy the health benefits of undertaking activities along our stunning coastal landscape, boosting our economy.”