Commissioned jointly with Visit Wales, Visit England and Visit Scotland, it is the first all-Britain survey of day visits since 2002-3 and underlines the significance of day visits.
It reveals that 102 million tourism day visits were made by British residents to destinations in Wales in 2011, generating expenditure of £2.9 billion, which exceeds the £1.8billion annual expenditure by staying visitors.
Tourism day visits are defined as being of at least three hours duration (including travel time), for leisure purposes, non-routine and (with the exception of visits to tourist attractions and special events) outside the place of residence or workplace. Average expenditure per person per visit was approximately £29.
Business Minister Edwina Hart said the sheer volume of visits and expenditure illustrated the importance of the day visitor market and its contribution to the viability of many businesses.
"Day visitors are the lifeblood of many attractions and localities in Wales, and provide a significant boost to their revenues which is particularly important in low season.
"As one would expect the majority of day visits to destinations in Wales originate from within Wales, so this form of tourism is particularly important in terms of repeat business and sustainability, supporting local services and businesses."
Day visits are significant throughout the year with some 18% of the annual total being taken in the January-March quarter, 27% in the April-June quarter, 31% in the peak July-September quarter and 24% in the fourth October-December quarter.
In terms of destination type, 31% of the visits were to cities/large towns, 25% to small towns, 16% to villages and 19% to the rural countryside. Some 15% of trips were to seaside towns or resorts and a further 8% to beaches in Wales.
A wide range of main activities undertaken on the trip were recorded: some 22% visited friends or family, 12% involved a ‘night out’, 11% involved going out for a meal, 10% involved outdoor activities, 5% were to visit attractions and 4% were for ‘special shopping’.
Expenditure on tourism day visits in Wales was split approximately as follows:
Transport costs (including fuel, fares, parking) (23%); Eating and Drinking (44%), Entrance Charges (12%), ‘Special’ (i.e. non-routine) shopping (17%), other items (4%).