Recent popularity for Wrexham has highlighted a need for more accommodation to meet tourism demands.

Business owner Sam Regan of the Lemon Tree, and chair of the This is Wrexham tourism partnership, highlighted the need for Wrexham to progress in a recent Employment, Business and Investment Scrutiny Committee with Wrexham Council.

The Partnership, supported by the council, has been successful recently in securing funding of £64,000 to support promotional material and activity for tourism in Wrexham.

It comes under the Destination Management plan, which is the process of managing and equipping a place so it is best able to deal with the needs and interests of its visitors.

Mr Regan said to the Leader that with the recent popularity, there is now a need for growth within the tourism sector, which may need to come from investment by the Welsh Government, along with schemes to improve transport and infrastructure around the city centre.

He said: “You put anything on in the town (city) and we’re immediately full, which is fantastic for us existing business owners but it would be nice for the local economy just to raise it up a bit further. It’ll come but it needs to come at the right pace to suit the level of interest.”

Tourism doesn’t just come in the form of accommodation, which Wrexham is currently short of, but also means looking into where visitors are eating, and where they are visiting whilst they stay.

Wrexham’s new celebrity status has also highlighted its close proximity to other major towns and cities that see a lot of tourism.

Mr Regan said that during the Eurovision Song Contest, the Lemon Tree was fully booked.

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He explained: “They announced that it was going to held in Liverpool and within about two hours of them announcing we were fully booked in Wrexham because Liverpool instantly filled up and people were looking ‘where’s within driving distance of Liverpool so that we can get in on the action a well’.”

He also highlighted that Wrexham needs to grow around the football club, and not just ride the success that has come from the docuseries ‘Welcome to Wrexham’ which won’t last forever.

He said: “I always felt like, pre Wrexham AFC and city of culture, city status, I always said that we were almost held back by our locality because we are so close to the likes of Chester, Manchester, Shrewsbury even where the investment Wrexham needed was not considered because Chester's on its doorstep; it's only 40 minutes to Liverpool on a good day, whereas now the tables have turned.”

There has also been a change in mentality around Wrexham, when pre Covid the perception was of a “dying town” to people being proud to say that they’re from Wrexham.

Mr Regan said the change has been “amazing”.

As for the Lemon Tree, they have seen a change in clientele. Pre Covid it was 90% domestic but post ‘Welcome to Wrexham’ that has shifted to 80% and visitors from America, Canada and even Australia are making up the rest.

Mr Regan said they still have 85% occupancy consistently which hasn’t changed but they have seen better daily rates, people are booking further ahead for summer holidays rather than just a short stay.