Over half in England think tourism is Wales’ top industry – and 15% think it’s still coal and steel
Over half the people of England think that tourism is the largest industry in Wales, with 61% thinking the sector dominates the Welsh economy.
15% also thought that the coal and steel industries still dominate Wales’ economy, according to a poll by the company Golley Slater before Wales take on England in the rugby on Saturday.
In reality, only 0.2% of the Welsh economy is made up of mining and quarrying, and 16.8% by manufacturing as a whole.
The services sector now makes up 71.2% of Wales’ economy but only 3.6% of that is in hospitality.
Tourism (62%), agriculture (51%), food and drink (25%) and the public sector (25%) were the top industries identified as being associated with Wales by people in England.
But despite much of Wales’ being covered by fields, it only makes up 1% of the nation’s economy.
Doing business in Wales sees people in England sitting on the fence, with 50% believing it’s a good place to do business. This drops to 42% amongst Londoners.
Despite the fact people in England feel they know more about Scotland (51%) compared to Wales (42%), there is a lot of positive sentiment towards Wales and its people from England.
Wales was deemed by more people in England as being welcoming (55%) and passionate (42%) compared to 38% and 29% respectively who recognised those attributes in their home nation.
When it comes to patriotism, the English are also more likely to classify the Welsh as patriotic with half (50%) describing Wales as patriotic compared to 45% considering it true of England.
Here’s what they think:
- One in two people in England believe Wales has strong political leadership
- 72% of people in England believe Wales is a fair society
- Almost nine in ten people in England (86%) believe Wales has a strong sense of community
- 81% of English people think that it’s important that Wales stays in the union.
- 71% believe Wales offers a great quality of life
Perhaps unsurprising therefore, 92% of households in England with children are interested in visiting Wales, and 79% of households without kids feel the same.
Head of Strategy and Insights at Golley Slater, Angharad Thomas said: “While many of the results have confirm an English fondness for Wales, there is still evidence of some outdated views and stereotypes.
“It’s clear that our passion and patriotism hasn’t gone unnoticed by our longstanding rugby rivals, and no doubt they’ll feel the full force of it for this weekend’s game at Twickenham!
“Our research has revealed some really interesting statistics and we’ve been pleasantly surprised by some of the positive perceptions people in England have about Wales and its people.
“We’ve enjoyed unpacking these gems and will be looking at how we can use these insights to support businesses, brands and organisations looking for opportunities on both sides of the border.”
The research sample size was 1,000 interviews carried out online. It was a representative sample of the population of England, and the research took place between 6-13 February 2022.
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