A MAJOR tourism study has claimed that a Gwynedd adventure destination has contributed £251 million to the local economy.

Since opening its first zip line Velocity, in Bethesda, in 2013, Zip World has grown to 11 adventures across three sites in North Wales and had more than one million visitors.

Official government body, North Wales Tourism, has been able to measure the business impact in the area.

The study showed that the average visitor to Zip World spends between £251-£500 (higher than UK average of £161), one in four had never visited the region before, three in four stayed at least one night as part of their trip, and Zip World has created 450 permanent jobs in the past five years, more than nine in 10 of those in Gwynedd and Conwy.

Visitors are drawn from across the UK and beyond to visit Zip World with hotspots being the Midlands and North West of England, with two in five of all customers.

From its beginnings with the ground-breaking Velocity zip line at Penrhyn Quarry, Bethesda, Zip World expanded to open Titan, Bounce Below and Caverns at Blaenau Ffestiniog and then Zip World Fforest at Betws-y-Coed, which is home to the Fforest Coaster, Zip Safari, Treetop Nets, Treehoppers, Skyride and - brand new launch - Plummet 2.

In 2018, the destination staged its first Zip World Rocks festival headlined by music legends Slade, while Velocity was improved and re-launched as Velocity 2 and hosted the world’s first ride up a zip line by ‘rocket man’ Richard Browning as it continues to innovate and excite.

Zip World founding director Sean Taylor says: “Zip World has already established North Wales as the adventure capital of the UK - now we are on track to be the adventure capital of Europe.

“The most impressive part of this study is the proof that the benefits of Zip World’s success are filtering down to the local economy across North Wales.

“More people are coming, staying for longer, making use of the region’s ever-improving range of places to stay, eat and drink.

“We know that people who spend more expect more.

"That’s been a challenge for the region’s accommodation providers, restaurants and destinations."

The study also shows that the visitors are not all extreme adventurers, but are families and couples.

"From an employment perspective, 93% of our employees are from the local area, because of this the money being earned is spent in the local economy,’’ Mr Taylor added.