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City stars in new TV advert

city starsST DAVIDS Bishop’s Palace is one of the stars which feature in Have you packed for Wales? The new £4 million EU funded Visit Wales advertising campaign which will launch on St David’s Day in the UK and Irish markets to attract visitors to Wales for Spring and Summer 2014.

Have you packed for Wales? tells consumers to come prepared for a trip to Wales. Whether it’s a three day break or a seven day stay, visitors need to come fully packed and ready for anything. However, packing the usual holiday gear isn’t enough. This is Wales – people are reminded to pack an open mind, a sense of adventure, and an appetite for discovery. This theme will run across all elements of the campaign.

The European Regional Development Fund-backed campaign includes a new TV advert which has been directed by Welsh director Marc Evans, whose work was also seen on screens recently in the form of detective series Hinterland which has been shown on S4C, BBC One Wales and is shortly to appear on BBC4.

Marc has directed many TV adverts including adverts for the Royal Navy, Co-op and Natwest, and said of his experiences of filming a TV advert for Wales: “This was a dream job for me. I was brought up in Cardiff but every summer was spent in West Wales and I have a lifelong love of the place. It was great to shoot in Cardigan Bay and also visit corners of the country I was less familiar with. It’s a big little country Wales, ever changing in terms of weather and light and also in the way it presents itself to the world. You think you know it and then it surprised you with another face. There’s a lot to be proud of but it can be elusive too. A big challenge to capture in a commercial!”

The campaign features new and existing product which has been developed through Visit Wales’ £35m ERDF Environment for Growth Projects in collaboration with other partners E4G partners: Cadw, Natural Resources Wales, Valleys Regional Park’. Locations feature the New BikePark Wales; Cadw monuments – Caernarfon Castle and St Davids Bishop’s Palace; Abersoch Beach; Dolphins in Cardigan Bay and Carreg y Defaid beach near Llanbedrog. EU funding has been used to work with partners to develop and improve Wales’ tourism offering. The new tourism strategy identifies the importance of taking a product led approach to developing and marketing tourism in Wales, which means working with iconic, high quality, reputation-changing products.

Cerys Matthews provided the music to accompany the TV ads and the result is a contemporary interpretation of the traditional Welsh song ‘Mil Harddach’. Cerys Matthews, said: “What a lullaby “You are a thousand times more beautiful than a white rose, than the red rose growing on the hillside, than the proud swan swimming the lake, my baby.” It’s just one of the gems found here in Wales’ jam packed treasure chest of cultural jewels, where we find the evidence of our centuries old love affair with singing and writing songs, songs that have such spellbinding melodies and simply perfect verses.”

Minister for the Economy, Edwina Hart, said: “This week is Wales Tourism Week and this investment in Wales marketing shows the Welsh Government’s commitment to tourism as one of our key sectors which generates £5 billion a year to the Welsh economy.

“This campaign is the first to be developed since the launch of the new tourism strategy for Wales ‘Partnership for Growth’ which aims to grow the tourism industry in Wales by 10% by 2020. This is the first step towards achieving what’s been set out in the strategy and aims to show that Wales provides the warmest of welcomes, outstanding quality, excellent value for money and memorable, authentic experiences for our visitors.

“We’re lucky in Wales to have such a huge range of activities, experiences and products to enjoy and share with our visitors. Some of our recent consumer research work however suggested that people aren’t necessarily aware of all the great things to see and do here in Wales, so this campaign tackles that misconception head on.”

The advert is also a showcase for the strength of creative industries sector in Wales, with Golley Slater as lead creative agency, production services were provided by YJB Films (Swansea) and post-production services were provided by Gorilla (Cardiff).

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Dayne Stone

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