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Confused Americans ask…’Is Wales a country?’

ON a Powys travel blogger’s website, a breakdown over Wales’ World Cup successes resulted in perplexed Americans inquiring if Wales is a country.

After Wales began their campaign against the United States, Kieren Windsor, who launched Wales Guidebook over the summer, witnessed a 581% increase in visits to his website.

The 30-year-old’s piece “Is Wales a country?,” immediately gained traction from Americans who used Google for inquiry, necessitating a hurried upgrade to prevent his website from crashing.

Top enquiries have been What language do they speak in Wales? Is Wales England? Is Wales good at soccer? Where is Wales? How is Wales a Country?

And one US TV show went berserk following the country’s failure to beat Wales on Monday

In addition, one US television programme went bonkers when the nation lost to Wales on Monday.

On Kieren’s site, which offers a humorous but thorough guide to the Land of His Fathers and seeks to unearth the hidden jewels amid the most well-known vacation hotspots, it appears that internet users discovered a lot of answers.

Given that Wales was also the Land of their Fathers to many of America’s Founding Fathers, Kieren has now compiled a list of the Top 10 connections between the two nations.

The Declaration of Independence was signed by at least five people who were Welsh or of recent Welsh ancestry.

A further eight US presidents, including Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, John Adams, and John Quincy Adams, have ancestors in Wales.

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Thomas Wynne, a physician who went to America with Quaker William Penn, is credited with basing the city of Philadelphia’s street layout on the village of Caerwys in Flintshire.

Rob McElhenney, the star of the popular television series It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, is approaching from the opposite direction. He is now co-owner, along with Hollywood star Ryan Reynolds, of Wrexham AFC, the third-oldest football club in the world.

Kieren, 30, a recent graduate in business and marketing from Newtown, Powys, said: “Usually, the readers of my site are either British citizens trying to arrange a vacation to Wales or Welsh citizens travelling abroad.

“However, this last week has seen a surge in readers from the United States with almost 75% of those reading my ‘Is Wales a Country’ article being Americans.

“I wrote the article when I launched the website over summer but suddenly it’s the most read article on my site by a mile as people are finding it through Google search.

“Even since the match against America, traffic is continuing to rise. Even the city of Wales, in Alaska, the most westerly city in the USA, population 152, has had a huge spike in interest this week.”

Kieren, whose mission is to promote Wales as a travel destination, started a backpacking travel blog as a hobby but saw it morph into a full time business in the space of five years after learning about the role of influencers during his employment.

He said his write-up reached 581% more readers over the last seven days compared to the previous week as Wales competed in the FIFA World Cup for the first time in 64 years.

He added: “The interest in my article has been such that I’ve had to upgrade my site to accommodate the amount of traffic it’s been getting since the start of the World Cup.

“It’s great that people are taking an interest in Wales and are going to the trouble to find out more about it.

“I really hope the interest lasts beyond the World Cup and people start to recognise Wales as a country with its own identity just like the rest of the UK.”

Kieren pointed out that since the 1-1 draw thanks to Wales captain Gareth Bale, many people from around the world have taken to Twitter admitting they’d never heard of Wales.

@AneedMoorehead wrote: “I’ve never even heard of Wales until today. Is it actually a country?!?! #FIFAWorldCup.

@timelordbetta tweeted: “I’m serious, where is Wales and is it a country? I’ve never heard of it.”