Welsh rural pubs use the internet to attract tourists

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Related tags: Foot-and-mouth crisis, Inn, Public house, United kingdom

Rural pubs in Wales have been using the internet to help attract tourists back to the region in the wake of the foot-and-mouth crisis and the...

Rural pubs in Wales have been using the internet to help attract tourists back to the region in the wake of the foot-and-mouth crisis and the terrorist attacks in the US.

The Old Pandy Inn near Abergavenny has been using its website to drum up new business. The site extols the virtues of rural activities in the region, including pony-trekking, paragliding and hill-walking.

Licensee Alan Bridgewater said: "We were doing reasonably well through conventional advertising and word of mouth, and the website trade was a bonus. But when foot-and-mouth took hold, all of that changed and we had to look at ways in which we could generate new business."

The countryside around the pub has now been downgraded to low-risk foot-and-mouth status, and the website has brought the pub much-needed bookings from as far afield as Australia and Canada. "We are delighted that visitors booking on the internet are prepared to travel from across the UK and overseas to visit Wales," he said.

Also promoting itself on the internet is the Britannia, in Crickhowell which, like the Old Pandy, is owned by Enterprise Inns. The village pub lost almost all its summer trade from hill walkers and ramblers due to foot-and-mouth.

Licensee Nick Thomas plans to use his newly-launched website to take bookings, and has applied for planning permission for new bunkhouse-style accommodation at the outlet.

"You can't sit around on your backside and wait for trade to pick up. You have to take the initiative yourself," he said.

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