NORTH Wales is a £2 billion “jewel in the crown” of the visitor economy of Great Britain, according to Wales’s tourism supremo.

In his role as Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism for the Welsh Government, Ken Skates AM has been invited to address the next meeting of Wrexham Business Professionals at the Ramada Hotel in the town on Friday, May 15.

Wrexham Business Professionals is a group of professional firms of solicitors and accountants who collaborate on a non-competitive basis to promote the development of businesses, skills and employment opportunities for professional people.

he topic for discussion at the meeting will be 'Tourism, the path to prosperity for North East Wales'.

Ken, who is Assembly Member for Clwyd South, has been invited along with his lead government official Manon Antoniazzi, chief executive officer for Tourism and Marketing for Wales, to give the keynote addresses.

He said his message will be that tourism plays a crucial and growing part in the economy of North Wales and the country as a whole and, thanks to on-going initiatives by the Welsh Government, there are even more exciting times ahead in the sector.

“Tourism already contributes around £2 billion a year to the North Wales economy and supports something like 40,000 jobs," he said.

“Across Wales, the industry accounts for the best part of 15 per cent of the entire workforce and in the north of the country this proportion is actually a little higher than that.

“It’s also a fact that the north captures a quarter of all visitors to Wales so it’s very clearly punching well above its weight.”

He added: “Tourism in North Wales is amongst the very best in the UK and the region as a whole is a jewel in the crown of the visitor economy of Great Britain.

“At the Wrexham Business Professionals meeting I’ll be talking about the value of tourism to the country and the support the Welsh Government has been able to offer the sector.

“There’s plenty on the horizon and it’s an incredibly exciting sector to be involved in at the moment in Wales.”

Prior to her current job, Manon worked in the private sector as a specialist in leadership development and was a member of the household of the Prince of Wales, where she served as a senior private secretary from 2004 to 2012.