DENBIGHSHIRE’S tourist industry has reached the half billion mark for the first time.

In a year that saw the open of long awaited projects in Rhyl such as the SC2 and Travelodge hotel, visitors brought £509million into the local economy in 2018.

This latest figure from the STEAM tourism activity monitor shows tourism revenues have almost doubled from £283.79m in 2007, and have also increased 3.8 percent on 2017.

Figures also show an increase in the number of staying visitor days to 7.19million, an increase of 0.5 percent, while the economic impact of staying visitors was £345m in 2018 - up 4.3 per cent on 2017.

Cllr Hugh Evans, leader of Denbighshire County Council, said: “These figures show visitors are staying longer in Denbighshire and spending more money, which is benefitting local businesses and helping to grow the local economy.

“We have a fantastic offer across the county, from seaside towns and attractions to market towns, historical sites, beautiful scenery and outdoor activities. Denbighshire’s businesses also offer visitors a great experience and our aim is to encourage visitors to come throughout the year and stay longer so they experience more of what Denbighshire has to offer.

“With the addition of a new Travelodge hotel and the opening of SC2 in Rhyl, as well as new offers across the county in 2019, the future of tourism is looking bright.”

In total, the number of visitors in 2018 was 5.87m, with 1.5m of those staying, the total number of visitor days spent in Denbighshire was 11.57m while tourism supported 6,108 jobs in the county.

New tourism projects include the Denbighshire Tourism Ambassador Scheme launched in June and designed to improve the visitor experience by training people who work in tourism or with visitors to provide a consistent message on the offer in the county.