We’ve been looking into how cultural bookers in Wales break down geographically. Read on for some interesting takeaways on where non-Welsh audiences are from and what impact the pandemic has had on cross-border culture visits.

UK vs. Overseas visitors

The data used for this analysis is the combined Audience Finder ticketing dataset for Wales. The findings focus on the residency of UK-based visitors and excludes data from visitors living overseas.

However, the (separate) Audience Finder survey dataset for Wales suggests that around 2% of audiences in Wales were from overseas in 2021-22.

Where did 2021-22 bookers in Wales come from? (exc. overseas)

In 2021-22, 13% of bookers in Wales came from elsewhere in the UK - England, Scotland or Northern Ireland:

Where Welsh bookers come from.png

Overall booker levels in Wales in 2021-22 had not recovered to their pre-pandemic levels [link to revenue tracker]. However, non-Welsh bookers appear to have been slower to return than those based in Wales.

Between 2017-18 and 2020-21 the proportion of non-Welsh bookers has remained constant at 17%, while in 2021-22 this drops down to 13%.

Tourism, or a short hop over the border?

In 2021-22, 72% of non-Welsh audiences came from one of the three regions adjacent to Wales (North West England, the West Midlands or South West England) up from 56% in 2020-21.

Bookers by Proximity to Wales.png

During the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic, cultural visitors to Wales from London in particular reached record levels, making up 22% of non-Welsh visitors, compared to 7% the following year.

Where non-Welsh bookers come from.png

During the first year of the pandemic, there was a sharp decrease in the proportion of bookers from the South West and West Midlands, while visitors from areas further afield showed a proportional increase.

Welsh bookers during Covid.png

Bookers from Scotland, Yorkshire and the Humber, the South East, South West and North West of England, are roughly back to pre-pandemic levels by 2021-22, while bookers from other regions remain lower than they were previously.

Get started with the free Audience Finder Data Tools to access geographical analysis of your own audiences and see how it’s been impacted by the pandemic.