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Tourism research and statistics

Facts and figures on tourism in Swansea Bay and latest research findings


  • Swansea's population is 237,800 (2021), and is projected to grow to 256,000 by 2030
  • Over 600,000 people live within a 30 minute drive to Swansea and 2 million within an hour's drive-time
  • Swansea is home to over 29,000 students
  • There are 148,000 people of working age (16-64) in Swansea, with 118,800 in employment (APS data, ONS)
  • There are 7,700 businesses in Swansea (ONS 2021)
  • Over 70% of Swansea is rural and has 32 miles of coastline and over 50 beaches
  • For more facts and figures, download the Swansea Business Guide 2023 or visit the Council's Performance and Statistics section


  • Total economic impact: £609M
  • Total visitors to the area: 4.7M visitors 
  • Number of FTE jobs supported: 5,470

We use STEAM (Scarborough Tourism Economic Activity Monitor) to quantify the local economic impact of tourism and monitor trends in Swansea Bay. STEAM is a tourism economic impact modelling process which approaches the measurement of tourism from the bottom up, through its use of local supply side data and tourism performance and visitor survey data collection. 

Download the 2023 STEAM Executive Summary below: 

2023 STEAM Executive Summary for Swansea (PDF) [103KB]


  • 1,000 visitors interviewed face-to-face between April and September 2022
  • Around half of our visitors come from Wales
  • Other key markets include the South West, Midlands, South East and London
  • Increasingly likely to be staying overnight (6 in 10 visitors) - average stay 4.8 nights
  • Broad mix of accommodation types were used by overnight visitors but self-catering most popular
  • Almost three quarters on a repeat visit
  • Mainly aged over 55 or in the 35-54 age group
  • Mostly visiting as a couple or a family from higher ABC1 social grades
  • Average spend has increased since 2019 (£45 for overnight visitors, £29 for day visitors)
  • The coast, beaches, scenery and landscape remain the key reasons to visit
  • Activities were also important for many, particularly walking, watersports and cycling 
  • 99% found their visit 'enjoyable' or 'very enjoyable'
  • 96% would recommend a visit

Download our Visitor Survey Infographic below: 

Visitor Survey 2022 Infographic (PDF) [1MB]


  • 120 tourism businesses surveyed in November 2022
  • Three quarters feel well-informed by Swansea Council's Tourism Team
  • Think Swansea Bay's best assets are our coast/beaches (96%) and scenery/landscape (75%)
  • 67% reported 'good' or 'excellent' levels of business in 2022
  • Half reported better performance than 2021
  • 82% 'nearly' or 'fully' recovered from Covid pandemic (88% for accommodation)
  • 45% have plans to expand (increasing capacity, improving quality, diversifying)
  • 62% feel optimistic about long-term business prospects
  • Priorities for improvement: cleanliness of streets, availability / cleanliness of toilets and road signs
  • Major challenges ahead: Welsh Government policies, cost of living, planning restrictions, staff shortages, access to finance and seasonality
  • Think Tourism Team can help with marketing support, grants / funding, business advice and liaising with other Council departments

Download our Tourism Trade Survey Infographic below: 

Tourism Trade Survey 2022 Infographic (PDF) [1MB]


  • Focus on Swansea City Centre, SA1 and Copperworks
  • Major transformation of city centre has created growing demand
  • Swansea largely undersupplied at present - last hotel opened 2013
  • Swansea hotels perform well all year round - strong leisure and business demand
  • 77.3% average occupancy rate
  • £67 Average Daily Rate (ADR)
  • £52 RevPar (Revenue Per Available Room) and £60 for upscale and upper midscale hotels
  • Top 5 RevPar Growth in UK (+7.9% from 2019 to 2022)
  • Swansea has entered the Top 10 Colliers UK Hotel Market Index 2023
  • City Centre needs an additional 285-355 rooms = equivalent to 3 new hotels by 2026 (and more again by 2032)
  • Opportunities for Midscale, Upper Midscale and Upscale development

This study was funded by UK Government's Share Prosperity Fund. 

Download our Hotel Demand Study infographic below

Swansea Hotel Demand Study infographic (PDF) [142KB]

Download the Hotel Demand Study Executive Summary

Swansea Hotel Demand Study - Executive Summary (PDF) [99KB]

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Last modified on 05 June 2024