SNOWDON is bracing itself for even bigger crowds in 2018 as Wales’ highest peak could be facing a rise in visitors after featuring in a record number of different TV shows and reports.
Almost a dozen film crews from around the UK have used areas of the National Park and the summit as a backdrop for their sets this year to capture the views from the top.
Among those filmed include an episode of Flog It with antique boffin Paul Martin, an ITV This Morning feature with comedian and former I’m a Celebrity contestant Joel Dommett as well as Ellis James and Miles Jupp’s recent visit as part of a BBC series featuring their favourite places to visit in Wales.
But with many of the shows due to be aired at the beginning of next year and with visitor numbers already on the up, Snowdonia National Park Authority (SNPA) has said there is a need to manage the impacts and benefits of the increasing tourists following growing media coverage.
“Snowdonia National Park has been featured regularly on programmes all over the world and we are pleased to have worked alongside various location companies who have chosen Snowdonia and Snowdon as backdrop or main subject for their work,” a spokesman said.
“We are aware that visitor numbers have been increasing year on year on Snowdon with almost 465,000 walking on the mountain last year and visitors bring huge economic benefit to the area which we estimate to be around £69 million per year.
“However, this has put increasing pressure on paths, landowners, infra- structure, rescue teams and the communities of the area and therefore, there is a need to carefully manage the impacts and benefits.
“That is why the Snowdon Partnership Plan has been created – it sets out how all the organisations involved will be looking after Snowdon for the future.”
The SNPA said their strategy for managing visitor number will be to encourage some tourists that come in the main season to come at quieter times of year and to remind people that Snowdonia has other “spectacular and challenging mountains” to walk.
“This will help spread the load, ensure that visitors have a better experience and also extend the visitor season so that we can help encourage year round quality jobs,” the spokesman added.
“As an authority, we encourage visitors not only to return to the area, but we also remind them that Snowdonia has other spectacular mountains to walk and other activities to experience.”
Earlier this year, the Snowdonia Society also raised concerns that the popularity of the mountain is having an adverse impact, particularly on footpaths and tried to encourage walkers to explore other peaks in the National Park.
However, Alan Kendall, general manager of Snowdon Mountain Railway who recorded 260,000 journeys in 2017 believes additional exposure will be “very positive” for the area.
“The number of crews filming in Snowdon approaches double figures every year and although we have been hosting crews here for years, we have particularly had a lot of attention this year. I think it’s very positive for the area, Snowdon is a place where people want to go.”
A crowded Snowdon summit on the first day of the 2017 May Bank Holiday