TOURISM in Denbighshire has continued to grow, with new figures revealing a significant year-on-year increase over the last decade.

The latest Scarborough tourism economic activity monitor (STEAM) impact figures show that in 2017 tourism brought £490.35 million into the Denbighshire economy, an increase of 2.3 per cent on 2016, and of 70 per cent since 2007.

Last year tourism supported 6,231 jobs in Denbighshire, while 5.93m people visited the county, which is an increase of 25 per cent since 2007.

The number of staying visitors has increased by 50 per cent between 2007 and 2017, with 1.5m contributing a total of £331.36m.

Denbighshire County Council leader Cllr Hugh Evans said: “The latest figures showing an increase in the overall economic benefit of tourism in Denbighshire are really encouraging, despite 2017 being a challenging year in terms of the weather.

“The county has so much to offer, a beautiful coastline, rural market towns, areas of outstanding natural beauty, a host of outdoor activities as well as a wealth of history and some fantastic local produce and shops.

“Particularly encouraging is the increase in coastal tourism. With the addition of two new hotels in Rhyl, the SC2 visitor attraction due to open next year, as well as the already established 1891 restaurant and the Nova in Prestatyn, we would expect these figures to continue to grow.

"This shows investment from the council and the private sector is having a real impact on the economic prosperity of Denbighshire, which is a priority under our corporate plan.”

Frank Gledhill, general manager at The Talardy hotel and restaurant in St Asaph, said he has expanded his business due to the increase in tourism in recent years: “The increase in tourism has been of huge benefit because for us that means an increase in trade.

“In March last year we opened an extra 24 bedrooms, increasing from 11 to 35 in total, which was based on the increase in tourism.

“Demand is always higher during the school holidays but we have been able to fill the rooms all year round.”

Justin Bell, a trustee of Rhyl Miniature Railway at the Marine Lake, said: “When we opened our new station in 2007 we carried 9,500 people and last year we carried 20,200.

“There has been a steady increase through the 11 years. A lot of this is to do with increasing the number of days we are open and more leaflets and an increase in the use of Facebook.

“We have also had an increase in the number of children coming to visit Santa at our railway with just over 100 for the last two years but 701 in 2017.

“I think this is down to the good time people have with us and spreading by word of mouth about their good time.”