Wales unveils trade-focused site

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CARDIFF, Wales -- The Wales Tourist Board (WTB) launched a trade-oriented Web site for overseas travel agents at www.traveltradewales.com.

Officials said the site is part of a new effort to capture a greater portion of overseas arrivals to Britain, as 90% of visitors to Wales hail from other parts of the U.K.

Despite Wales' low profile outside Britain, officials think the region will appeal to foreign tourists. The country is the U.K.'s top domestic destination and attracted 9.6 million trips in the first nine months of 2003.

"The potential for growth in our overseas market is huge," said WTB CEO Jonathan Jones. "In 2002-2003, overseas campaigns generated [more than] 160,000 responses."

More than 300 overseas agents have registered at the Web site, which the WTB said provides regular updates on tourism initiatives, attractions, group and trade-friendly accommodations, discount rates, maps and other information.

In addition, an online destination-specialist program is planned for later this spring -- which would bring the WTB up to speed with Tourism Ireland, VisitBritain and the Scottish Tourist Board.

For more information, visit www.traveltradewales.com or call VisitBritain in New York at (877) 872-1133.

To contact reporter Kenneth Kiesnoski, send e-mail to [email protected].

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