In 2005 The Fishing Wales’ marketing programme was run by the Wales Tourist Board and it complemented the Environment Agency Wales’s (EAW) conservation work. The overall aim of Fishing Wales was to increase the value of angling tourism to Wales. The work targeted different angling audiences and the kind of fishing that Wales has to offer them. The campaign was launched with full-page ads in specialist fishing publications, and with inserts and DM which directed people to requesting a detailed guide. We also helped to design and develop the Fishing Wales website which has grown into a valuable resource for both visiting and resident anglers. The campaigns were single-minded in their objectives – to sell the products, generate requests for the magazines and drive hits to the website. The overall campaign had arguably been one of the most successful ever undertaken by WTB (Visit Wales), with all kinds of angling trips increasing when the campaigns went live. In fact 2005 was a record year for the number of anglers visiting Wales.
Research by WTB into the effectiveness of the campaign indicated that people who requested information (58,687 of them) took fishing trips to Wales, with a total value of £69m. This includes 400,000 overnight stays that would otherwise not have been taken. In total, the Fishing Wales campaign generated an extra £23.7m for the Welsh economy, equivalent to creating or sustaining 1000 jobs.