North West Wales

Winter tourism drive plans to boost Conwy's economy

Llandudno pier Image copyright Thinkstock

Talks are being held about developing a winter tourist season to boost full-time job opportunities in Conwy county.

About 41% of jobs in the area are part-time with some finding it difficult to buy their own home, according to Conwy council officials.

Staff are meeting with businesses to discuss creating a year-round offer.

"If we're going to grow the economy here, we've got to grow the quality of the jobs," said economy strategic director Jane Richardson.

"What I want to start talking about here is creating a winter tourism offer."

The council has said low seasonal wages - the average wage is £23,000 in the area - mean many people struggle to buy a home in the county.

However, there has been an increase in tourism across north Wales with about 1.7m people visiting Conwy in August.

"It's not that people stop going away in December," said Ms Richardson.

"People go to Christmas markets, to Blackpool illuminations, but they're not coming here because we haven't created that winter offer for them."

Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption Great outdoors: Llynnau Mymbyr, Capel Curig

One business which has already started increasing its opening hours during the winter is Llandudno pier, increasing full-time staff.

"Some days you do lose money paying staff through the winter," said owner Adam Williams.

"But it has a huge payback for us at the start of the season.

"If the staff are with us full-time, they bring their experience with them and I don't have to train them from fresh at the start of the season.

"Our industry has a stigma of being very seasonal, but my colleagues work long hours in the summer and are very loyal to the business, so it's nice I can be loyal to them."

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