RHYL remains a major tourist destination, attracting thousands of visitors from all over the UK, says Denbighshire’s leader.
Cllr Jason McLellan says the town’s Zip World attraction, water park, and private-sector investment means Rhyl is thriving, despite changing times.
Whilst visitors once flocked to Rhyl to experience the town’s funfair, Cllr McLellan now says it’s the new attractions which are causing visitors to arrive in their hundreds of thousands.
“Rhyl is definitely still a tourist destination,” said Cllr McLellan.
“If you look out the window at the front of my office, you will see the Rhyl Pavilion Theatre, the 1891, which is attracting a lot of visitors there.
“Zip World (Skyflyer) is a big private-sector player in the rural economy in North Wales and now here in Rhyl. It is good news that a big company like Zip World is investing here.
“We see the Kite Surf Cafe. We’ve got private-sector investment in Rhyl from a number of national chains, and we’ve got an events arena, which is used in the summer and brings people in.”
Rhyl’s £15m SC2 water park, the replacement for the original Sun Centre, reopened four years ago, and Cllr McLellan claimed the attraction brings in tens of thousands of visitors.
“We’ve got the SC2. The figures on that are that it will bring 200,000 visitors into the town,” he said.
“We’ve got the harbour as well. So we’ve got a really good offer, and more than anything, we’ve got a lovely beach. I was down there the other day. It was packed. You could hear all sorts of accents from all over the country, which proves to me that Rhyl is still a big tourist destination.”
He added: “Times change, and the funfair was brilliant. I remember it as a kid. But, you know, time moves on. We’ve got a great offer on the front and a really exciting project in Queen’s Market (new food hall).
“We are holding more and more events. Our next challenge will be the town centre and to regenerate that.
“With all the work that is going on there across town and private-sector investment, Rhyl has the potential to be a real top tourist destination.
“In fact I’d go as far as to say it has one of the highest town centre footfalls in Wales. The Rhyl town centre footfall for 2022 was 850,663. The footfall in Rhyl was really high for last year.
“I think there is a market for the so-called millennials to come, the younger demographic. But we welcome families and people of all ages.”