The familiarisation trip has been organised by the Welsh Government’s Visit Wales team in partnership with Helvetic Airways to promote the route between Zurich and Cardiff to attract more tourists.
Eight tour operators are taking part, many of whom do not currently feature the UK in their programmes and the visit provides the opportunity to showcase and sell Wales as a unique leisure destination.
By contrast Falcon Travel - one of the largest tour operators in the region - currently promote Wales through 20 pages in their UK brochure. Their tours include roundtrips, car rental tours, walking tours, culinary tours, hotels in Cardiff, B&Bs, country houses and cottages in South and North Wales.
Business Minister Edwina Hart said it was important to maximise the potential of the Zurich - Cardiff route and promote its use for both leisure and business visitors:
"I am pleased to support this visit that will provide tour operators with a taste of Wales – its history, heritage and culture, a diverse range of leisure activities as well as stunning scenery and landscapes. For many it will be their first visit and it provides a great opportunity to promote Wales and how accessible it is, following the launch last year of the new route between Zurich and Cardiff."
Spencer Birns, Cardiff Airport’s Head of Commercial Operations and Air Services Development added:
"We’re looking forward to welcoming the tour operators into Wales, in order for them to see for themselves what Wales has to offer for leisure and business markets.
"We’re seeing a high percentage of inbound traffic on the route, bringing tourists into Wales, and we hope this familiarisation trip will educate the tour operators further so they can help us sell Wales to more travellers."
The visit is supported by Cardiff & Co and Southern Wales who helped draw up the itinerary that includes visits to castles, heritage sites, hotels and restaurants as well as an opportunity to enjoy Cardiff’s shopping centre and explore Cardiff Bay.