The Snowdonia National Park


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The Snowdonia National Park



Introduction

A Brief History of Snowdonia National Park

Snowdonia National Park was established in 1951 and covers an area of
2,142 square kilometres (827 square miles). The park mainly consists
of several ancient mountain ranges. These mountain ranges were formed
by volcanic activity, and they were eroded during the Ice Ages. The
highest of these is Yr Wyddfa Fawr (1,085m/3,560ft) one of the five
peaks of the Snowdon Massif (or Mount Snowdon).

[IMAGE][IMAGE]

Map 1.1 - Snowdonia National Park (The red square shows the location
of Betws-y-Coed)

There are many different roads leading into the park, which bring in
visitors from other parts of the country. The A470 will bring in
visitors from the South and South West ( and probably South Wales).
The A55 and A543 will bring in visitors from the North, North West and
North East (especially Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds and Sheffield).

[IMAGE]

Map 1.2 - The area surrounding Snowdonia National Park

Looking at Map 1.2, there are good transport links to the Park from
other areas of the United Kingdom. For example, there is the M6
bringing in people from Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham. The M4
brings in people from London and the surrounding area.

What Is Tourism?

Tourism is a multisectoral activity that requires inputs from many
industries - agriculture, construction, and manufacturing and from
both the public and private sector to produce the goods and services
used by tourists. It has no clearly determined boundaries and no
physical output; it is a provider of services which in range will vary
between countries.' Another more concise definition is: Leisure time
activity generally defined as involving an overnight stay or more,
away from home.

What Are Tourists?

All types of visitor engaged in tourism are described as visitors, a
term that constitutes the basic concept for the whole system of
tourism statistics; the term visitor may be further subdivided into
the same-day visitors and tourists as follows: visitors are defined as

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Related Searches




people who travel to a county rather than in which they have their
usual residence but outside their usual environment for a period not
exceeding 12 months and whose main purpose of the visit is other than
the activity remunerated from within the place visited; same-day
visitors are visitors who do not spend the night in a collective or
private accommodation in the country visited; while tourists are
visitors who stay in the country visited for at least one night.

The Importance of Tourism Globally

By the year 2000 tourism would become the world's major economic
activity, surpassing even the trade in oil and manufactured goods. It
is an important factor in the economy of most developed countries and
is seen by many developing countries as the one possible way to obtain
income and to create jobs. Globally, there were 500 million tourist
arrivals in 1996, even including domestic tourism.

Why Does Snowdonia National Park And Betws-y-Coed Attract Tourists?

Snowdonia National Park attracts tourists because there are a great
number of recreational activities available in the park, such as
climbing, hill walking, fishing and sightseeing. Hill walking is
especially popular, as Snowdon is the highest mountain in Wales.
People who do not fancy walking to the top of Snowdon can catch the
railway line that runs up the mountain. This generates money which can
be used to pay for the maintenance and upkeep of the line.

In small towns, such as Betws-y-Coed, there are a great number of
services for the tourists, such as tea shops, outdoor shops (which
sell outdoor equipment), souvenir shops and so on. This makes
Betws-y-Coed a honeypot site. A honeypot site, is, like the name
suggests, a place where tourists all swarm to because of the great
variety in things to do and see in that particular place. Other
honeypot sites include Keswick in the Lake District, and Hathersage in
the Peak District. A honeypot site will generate the bulk of its
income from tourism, and possibly will have spent that money on a
facility for the tourists, such as a new car park, or a souvenir shop,
or a café.

This is the primary reason that tourists visit Snowdonia, to see the
beautiful scenery:

[IMAGE]

Figure 1.1 - The summit of Snowdon, 1,085m high. Snowdon is the
highest mountain in Wales.

Honeypot sites, however, do have a problem. The principal problem is
traffic. Many visitors to honeypot sites come by car. (In Keswick's
case, almost all of the visitors come by car - there is no railway
station). This means that the streets will be clogged up full of
traffic, and car parks will dominate the landscape. Cars create air
and noise pollution.

Tourism in Betws-y-Coed and other areas has only sprung up in the last
20 or so years. An efficient motorway and road network in the United
Kingdom means that less time is spent driving. On a clear driving day,
from Sheffield to Betws-y-Coed, it will probably take 2½ - 3 hours,
because there is a good road network. Another reason is that more
people own a car nowadays. Almost every family in the United Kingdom
has a car, many families have 2 cars and some even have 3 or more.
Therefore, more people are using their cars to get around the place,
and driving is cheap and practical.

In Betws-y-Coed, I aim to look at the impacts of tourism on
Betws-y-Coed and how Betws-y-Coed has reacted (in other words,
measures put in to control tourists). I will conduct a traffic survey,
a pedestrian survey, a litter survey and a building survey. Also, I
will interview tourists on the street, to find out how they came to
Betws-y-Coed, where they are staying and what they have purchased in
Betws-y-Coed.

I am asking the following questions:

* How has tourism impacted on the local economy?

* How has Betws-y-Coed reacted to the tourists?

* What are the drawbacks to tourism in Betws-y-Coed?

* Is traffic an issue?

Method

To find out all of my data for this project, I had to do a variety of
things. They include:

* Walking around Betws-y-Coed and noting down the buildings. [Building
Survey]

* Standing in a designated spot for 30 seconds and counting the number
of pedestrians. [Pedestrian Survey]

* Standing in a designated spot for 15 minutes and counting the number
of cars travelling West (towards Snowdon) and the number of cars
travelling east (towards Liverpool and Manchester). [Traffic Survey]

* Surveying the amount of litter in a designated spot. [Litter Survey]

* Interviewing passers-by on the street and asking them how long they
are staying in Betws-y-Coed, why are they staying in Betws-y-Coed and
what they have bought. [Pedestrian Survey]

* Comparing grocery store prices between Sheffield and Betws-y-Coed.
[Own initiative]

* Counting the number of cars in the main car park in Betws-y-Coed.
[Car Park Survey]

* Comparing petrol prices between Sheffield and Betws-y-Coed. [Own
initiative].

As mentioned above, I aim to find out the impacts of tourism on
Betws-y-Coed. This includes how Betws-y-Coed has reacted to tourists,
e.g. what measures they have taken to control the number of tourists.

Betws-y-Coed is the most popular destination in North Wales.
Betws-y-Coed, not only being an attractive village, is also very near
Snowdon, which is good for walking and climbing. Therefore, there are
a large number of outdoor shops in Betws-y-Coed.

I chose the Own Initiative because I wanted to find out the
differences between the prices. Because Betws-y-Coed is quite a
deserted place, I predict that simple groceries such as bread, milk,
eggs and so on will be more expensive than they are in Sheffield.

I aim to collect my data in the following ways. For the building
survey, I will sketch out a rough map of Betws-y-Coed but
straightening the streets, and marking each tourist related building
and giving it a letter, A for accommodation, OS for outdoor shop and
so on. The full list is with the building survey.

For the pedestrian survey, at 11:00, I will stand in my designated
area and count the number of pedestrians passing an imaginary line in
front of me for 30 seconds. This result will then be recorded down in
a master table, which is below.

For the litter survey at my designated site, I will do a sweep of a
10m radius from where I am standing and rate the litter on a scale,
which ranges from +3 to -3. +3 means that there is no litter at all, 0
means there is some litter, but overall, it is quite clean, and -3
means there is lots of litter.

The traffic survey will be conducted in much the same way as the
pedestrian survey, except it will take place for 15 minutes instead of
30 seconds. I will count the cars going west (towards Snowdon) and the
other person in my pair will count the cars going east (towards the
A543, which takes cars to Liverpool, Manchester and so on). The
traffic survey for my pair will be conducted at 12:45 - 13:00.
Usually, around lunch-time there are fewer cars, because many people
have parked in the car parks and are currently having their lunch. The
period from about 10:30-11:30 usually gets the most cars because that
is when people arrive in Betws-y-Coed and find somewhere to park.

For my second pedestrian survey I will interview passers-by on the
street, and ask them a few questions on what they have purchased and
where they have come from. Below is a sample of the survey (with one
extra question added by me):

1. Have you already been interviewed today?

2. How long have you been staying in Betws-y-Coed?

3. What kind of accommodation are you staying in?

4. Have you bought anything in Betws-y-Coed? If so, what?

5. Why did you choose to visit Snowdonia National Park?

6. How did you get to Betws-y-Coed? *

* added by me

Pedestrian and Litter Survey

The pedestrian and litter survey were conducted in exactly the same
spot. Each group was given a designated spot in Betws-y-Coed, and was
asked, at 11:00, to do the pedestrian survey, which means counting the
number of pedestrians that pass in a 30 second time period.

The litter survey was ranked on a scale, from -9 to +9. Anything in
negative numbers means that there is a fair amount of litter in that
site, and anything in positive numbers means that there is little or
no litter at all in that site.

[IMAGE][IMAGE]

Map 1.3 - The location of my pedestrian and traffic survey.

[IMAGE]

Figure 1.2 - The location of my pedestrian and litter survey. The
picture is looking east.

[IMAGE]

Figure 1.3 - The location of my pedestrian and litter survey. The
picture is looking west.

Traffic Survey

The traffic survey was conducted in a 15 minute time period by every
single group in the same place. One person counted the cars travelling
west (towards Snowdon) and another person counted the cars travelling
east (towards Liverpool, Manchester and so on)

[IMAGE][IMAGE]

Map 1.4 - The location of the traffic survey (black arrow)

Data Presentation

Traffic Survey

I predict that the period from about 11:00-13:00 will have the most
cars, because that is when many people have just arrived in
Betws-y-Coed and are trying to find somewhere to park.

[IMAGE][IMAGE]

Map 1.5 - Although not shown on the above map, the black square
indicates the main car park in Betws-y-Coed (and certainly the
biggest).

The following graph shows the number of cars going east, the number of
cars going west and the total number of cars in the main car park:

[IMAGE]

Time

Total Traffic Moving West

Total Traffic Moving East

Total Traffic

Total In Main Car Park

9.30-9.45

ARRIVED AT 9.40

ARRIVED AT 9.40

ARRIVED AT 9.40

ARRIVED AT 9.40

9.45-10.00

95

42

137

66

10.00-10.15

108

43

151

85

10.15-10.30

133

72

205

88

10.30-10.45

120

57

177

90

10.45-11.00

115

53

168

108

11.00-11.15

122

61

183

125

11.15-11.30

135

65

200

134

11.30-11.45

120

53

173

138

11.45-12.00

137

67

204

150

12.00-12.15

175

60

235

180

12.15-12.30

118

59

177

157

12.30-12.45

162

66

228

138

12.45-13.00

129

57

186

105

13.00-13.15

129

81

210

158

13.15-13.30

133

60

193

146

Pedestrian Survey

Site Number

Pedestrian Survey

1

0

2

0

3

0

4

0

5

2

6

0

7

8

8

1

9

5

10

7

11

1

12

0

13

0

14

2

15

11

16

7

17

9

18

21

19

15

20

6

21

11

22

10

23

4

24

0

25

0

26

0

27

0

28

0

29

0

30

1

31

4

32

1

33

1

34

2

35

7

36

5

37

7

38

5

39

10

Noise Survey

The noise survey was conducted by two members in the group using a
sound level meter. The sound is measured in decibels (dB). To give the
data below a sense of perspective, here is a chart of common decibel
readings and their relevance:

Decibels (dB)

Examples

20

Falling leaves

40

Normal conversation

80

Traffic

100

Thunderstorm

120

Rock concert

140

Rocket take-off; permanent damage to hearing

Site Number

Noise Survey (dB)

1

70

2

70

3

63

4

70

5

<50

6

63

7

67

8

57

9

51

10

<50

11

<50

12

<50

13

55

14

52

15

55

16

62

17

55

18

<50

19

63

20

66

21

62

22

55

23

<50

24

<50

25

<50

26

53

27

<50

28

<50

29

<50

30

<50

31

60

32

67

33

60

34

65

35

65

36

60

37

58

38

68

39

62

Litter Survey

Site Number

Litter Survey

1

8

2

-1

3

5

4

-2

5

3

6

5

7

8

8

8

9

6

10

3

11

-1

12

4

13

4

14

5

15

7

16

1

17

-1

18

7

19

8

20

6

21

6

22

9

23

9

24

9

25

8

26

8

27

9

28

9

29

9

30

5

31

5

32

8

33

-1

34

-1

35

7

36

8

37

4

38

7

39

8

The following pictures were taken at my designated litter spot in
Betws-y-Coed:

[IMAGE]

Figure 1.4 - The only large piece of litter in my area, a plastic
Pepsi bottle.

[IMAGE]

Figure 1.5 - The pavement and the road - notice the absence of litter.

[IMAGE][IMAGE][IMAGE]

Figure 1.6 - The road. Note small pieces of paper (circled) in
background.

Interviews

Area from?

Total

How Long?

Total

Accommodation

Total

Purchase

Total

Why

Total

Scotland

3

1 day

52

B & B

27

Souvenir

44

Scenery

87

North

11

2 days

42

Hotel

40

Food

72

Hiking

60

N.East

7

3 to 5

38

Self

6

Clothing

32

Climbing

15

N.West

37

6 to 7

11

Camp

18

Outdoor

42

Canoeing

1

East

7

> 7

9

Caravan

21

Books/News

20

Shopping

22

Midlands

36

other

1

YHA

7

Other

4

Other

25

E.Anglia

6

Other

7

S.East

21

S.West

4

N.Wales

9

S.Wales

5

N.Ireland

1

Ireland

3

Int.

3

The data for the area can be put into a Spearman's rank table:

Region

Number

Rank

Average Distance Travelled (miles)

Rank

Difference Between Each Rank

D Squared

North

11

4

130

9

5

25

N.East

7

6=

200

6

0

0

N.West

37

1

90

12

11

121

Midlands

36

2

100

11

9

81

Southeast

21

3

200

6

3

9

East

7

6=

210

5

1

1

N.Ireland

1

11

220

4

7

49

Ireland

3

10=

140

8

2

4

E.Anglia

6

7

230

3

4

16

N.Wales

9

5

50

13

8

64

S.Wales

5

8

120

10

2

4

Scotland

3

10=

350

1

9

81

S.West

4

9

275

2

7

49

Total

∑d2 504

Spearman's Rank is worked out using the following formula:

R = 1 - 6∑d2

n3 - n

n = number of pairs of data used [in this case n=2]

d = difference between ranks squared

∑ = total

I interviewed 6 people, but I added one extra question, "How did you
get to Betws-y-Coed?" This question produced the following results:

Mode of Transport

Number of People

Car

5

Train

0

Coach

0

Mini-bus

1

Air*

1

Other

0

* - One person who I had interviewed had flown to Manchester Airport
from Luchthaven Amsterdam Schipol and hired a car to Betws-y-Coed.

Own Initiative

My own initiative, as explained above is to compare grocery store
prices between Betws-y-Coed and Sheffield. The list below is a list of
common items on a shopping list, and how much they would cost in
Sheffield, then in Betws-y-Coed:

Product

Betws-y-Coed

Sheffield

More or less expensive?

White Sliced Bread

£ 1.03

£ 1.03

Same price

Pint of Semi-Skimmed Milk

£ 0.40

£ 0.40

Same price

Pint of Full Cream Milk

£ 0.40

£ 0.40

Same price

6 Free Range Eggs

£ 0.98

£ 0.99

More expensive

Medium Sized Sausages (Locally Produced) [kg]

£ 4.40

£ 3.96

Less expensive

2 Litre Bottle of Coca-Cola

£ 1.59

£ 1.45

Less expensive

Packet of Butter

£ 0.88

£ 0.84

Less expensive

Strawberry Jam

£ 0.99

£ 0.99

Same price

Packet of Cheese (200g)

£ 1.29

£ 1.19

Less expensive

Biological Washing Powder (Daz)

£ 2.79

£ 2.70

Less expensive

Washing Up Liquid (Fairy)

£ 1.09

£ 0.99

Less expensive

McVities Chocolate Digestive Biscuits

£ 1.26

£ 1.26

Same price

Dairy Milk (Cadbury's)

£ 0.42

£ 0.40

Less expensive

Tomato Ketchup (Heinz) [460g]

£ 1.39

£ 1.28

Less expensive

Yoghurt (Welsh)

£ 0.41

£ 0.45

More expensive

Smoked Bacon (English) (buy 1 get 2 free)

£ 2.29

£ 1.99

Less expensive

Unsmoked Bacon (English) (buy 1 get 2 free)

£ 2.29

£ 1.99

Less expensive

125g Jar of Marmite

£ 1.58

£ 1.42

Less expensive

250g Jar of Nutella

£ 1.09

£ 1.09

Same price

Packet of Cigarettes (Lambert & Butler)

£ 4.22

£ 4.22

Same price

Mineral Water (Evian)

£ 0.79

£ 0.79

Same price

Can of Beer (Boddingtons)

£ 0.89

£ 0.89

Same price

75cl of Ernest & Jullio Gallio Red Wine

£ 4.79

£ 4.67

Less expensive

Apples (kg)

£ 1.45

£ 1.34

Less expensive

Bananas (kg)

£ 1.25

£ 1.08

Less expensive

Oranges(each)

£ 0.18

£ 0.18

Same price

Carrots (kg)

£ 0.40

£ 0.39

Less expensive

Tomatoes (pack)

£ 0.79

£ 0.79

Same price

Potatoes (kg)

£ 0.81

£ 0.79

Less expensive

Cabbage (kg)

£ 0.65

£ 0.69

More expensive

Mushrooms (kg)

£ 3.96

£ 3.80

Less expensive

Orange Juice

£ 0.59

£ 0.79

More expensive

Apple Juice

£ 0.59

£ 0.79

More expensive

Total

£ 47.93

£ 46.03

The shopping list cost £47.93 in Betws-y-Coed, but only £46.03 in
Sheffield. This is a saving of £1.90. If we plot this on a graph:

[IMAGE]

By looking at the above, one can see a considerable difference between
the prices in Betws-y-Coed and Sheffield. Although the price
difference is only £1.90, it is quite a difference. This doesn't give
me much of a clue. It would be interesting to see what price the
shopping list comes out as in central London.

Petrol Prices

The only petrol station in Betws-y-Coed was on the road out of the
village, and was a Shell station. I compared this to my local petrol
station, a BP station.

Petrol Type

Betws-y-Coed (p/litre)

Sheffield(p/litre)

Unleaded

83.9

79.9

4 Star

83.9

79.9

Diesel

81.9

78.9

Autogas

NA

36.9

The petrol is slightly more expensive in Betws-y-Coed than in
Sheffield.

Bargain Hunt in Betws-y-Coed

Whilst in Betws-y-Coed, I spotted the following advertisement for BBC
Bargain Hunt:

[IMAGE]

As Bargain Hunt is quite a popular programme, this may entice tourists
to visit Betws-y-Coed, and therefore boosting the local economy. This
may have accounted for the large amount of traffic entering
Betws-y-Coed from the west.

Mobile Phone Reception

Despite the fact I was in a town which is surrounded by hills, I still
maintained full mobile phone signal. This occurred on 5 different
networks. This is strange because usually, when one is surrounded by
hills, one usually doesn't get signal on one's phone. I think that
money has been put into building a new mast in the Betws-y-Coed area.

Near to my litter and pedestrian survey site, I found a solar panel,
which was near a street light. This solar panel is providing
electricity for the street light, and therefore reducing dependency of
electricity:

[IMAGE]

Data Interpretation

Own Initiative

The prices were taken from the following shops:

* Betws-y-Coed: Londis, Spar

* Sheffield: Spar, local butchers

[IMAGE][IMAGE]

Map 1.6 - The location of the grocery store in Betws-y-Coed.

As mentioned above, my own initiative was to compare grocery store
prices between Sheffield and Betws-y-Coed. My original thought was
that the prices would be slightly higher in Betws-y-Coed, because it
is quite an isolated place (apart from a good road network linking it
to other parts of Wales) and goods have to be shipped in specially.
However, I thought that meat and dairy products would be cheaper
because they would have been produced locally, Wales has a reputation
for farming.

Several of the above thoughts were backed up by evidence. Overall, the
shopping list is £1.90 cheaper in Sheffield than in Betws-y-Coed.
However, some prices were quite interesting and surprised me. Firstly,
the cigarettes were the same price both in Sheffield and Betws-y-Coed
were the same price, because the Government puts a standard tax on all
tobacco all around the country.

The bottle of wine is slightly cheaper in Sheffield, but the beer is
the same price. Beer is usually the same price wherever you go, but
the wine is quite expensive because, firstly, it has been imported in
from abroad and, secondly, it has to be taken to Betws-y-Coed
specially, which probably puts the price up slightly.

The sausages quite surprised me. The sausages from Betws-y-Coed were
locally produced using free-range pork and cost £4.40 per kilo.
However, the sausages from Sheffield were locally produced as well,
using free-range pork, but cost £3.96 per kilo, a saving of £0.44. It
is a surprising difference, even though both products are virtually
the same thing. I think it is due to the sausage producers, maybe they
charge a higher price for their sausages.

Probably the most surprising price difference between Sheffield and
Betws-y-Coed was the orange and apple juice. In Sheffield, the orange
and apple juice costs £0.79 per 1 litre carton and in Betws-y-Coed,
the orange and apple juice costs £0.59 per 1 litre carton, a saving of
£0.20. I picked the store's own brand apple and orange juice, but I
found a price difference on the same item which is interesting.

The petrol prices were more expensive in Betws-y-Coed at the time I
visited, May 2004. Recently, the petrol prices have increased to the
Government, but I found that petrol was slightly more expensive in
Betws-y-Coed.

Pedestrian Survey

The obvious assumption for the pedestrian survey is that the areas in
the centre of Betws-y-Coed where the shop density is the thickest will
have the most pedestrians. This is confirmed in the isoline map above
and the results from the pedestrian survey.

Looking at the isoline map, you can clearly see that most of the
pedestrians are concentrated in the CBD (Central Business District) of
Betws-y-Coed. The CBD in Betws-y-Coed consists of all the restaurants
and accommodation and most of the shops. The largest section, shown in
yellow, indicates the areas which had 0-5 pedestrians in 30 seconds.

If one looks at the area which says "8", there is a long extended area
down to the 8. This is because at the site where "8" is marked, there
is a large outdoor store, selling walking and climbing gear. This type
of shop will probably receive the most income in a year, because
Betws-y-Coed is situated in Snowdonia National Park, which is popular
for walking and climbing. More serious climbers can tackle the

The following map shows a small building survey of Betws-y-Coed, which
clearly indicates where the shops and main services are in
Betws-y-Coed. This backs up my statement about the pedestrians.

[IMAGE][IMAGE]

[Taken from www.betws-y-coed.net]

The red arrow shows the location of the traffic survey, the blue arrow
shows the location of my pedestrian survey and the yellow arrow
indicates the main car park in Betws-y-Coed.

Restaurants

While wandering around Betws-y-Coed, I stopped at a hotel with a
restaurant at 12:00. When I walked past it at 12:30, 30 minutes later,
the restaurant was almost full:

[IMAGE]

This image reflects the following graph:

[IMAGE]

As you can see, there is a distinct "valley" at 12:15-12:30, showing
that many people are either looking around Betws-y-Coed or eating
lunch at one of the many restaurants in Betws-y-Coed.

The aqua-blue line, representing the total number of cars in the main
car park starts to rise from 9:45 to 12:15. This is because many
people are arriving in Betws-y-Coed and parking their cars in the main
car park.

The "valley" at 12:45-13:00 is probably because some people are
leaving Betws-y-Coed, having eaten lunch and looked around the shops,
and are now driving east towards Snowdonia. This is represented by the
slight increase in traffic moving east, shown on the graph above.

We can also see, if we link the data from the traffic survey with the
data from the car park survey, the two lines almost follow each other
exactly. This can be seen clearer in the following graph:

[IMAGE]

The two lines almost follow each other exactly. This shows that there
is a relationship between the total number of cars in the main car
park and the total number of traffic.

Noise Survey

The noise survey was taken using a sound-level meter at various sites
in Betws-y-Coed. Naturally, I would assume the spots which lie on the
A5 and in the centre of Betws-y-Coed to be the noisiest, because that
is where the traffic is densest.

Interviews

I expected the most visitors from the North-West and West, because
both areas have excellent motorway links with Betws-y-Coed. The map
indicates the most probable route from the West to Betws-y-Coed, and
the estimated driving times:

[IMAGE][IMAGE][IMAGE]

The following table shows the estimated driving times from selected
cities (based on the following driving speeds: 120kph - motorways;
80kph - A roads; 60kph - B roads; 50kph - streets)

City

Distance from Betws-y-Coed

Time Taken

Birmingham

174km

2 hours 9 minutes

Cardiff

269km

3 hours 34 minutes

Edinburgh

472km

4 hours 47 minutes

Gloucester

255km

2 hours 48 minutes

Hull

304km

3 hours 7 minutes

Leeds

216km

2 hours 19 minutes

London

359km

3 hours 46 minutes

Manchester

148km

1 hour 46 minutes

Plymouth

490km

5 hours 1 minute

Sheffield

213km

2 hours 31 minutes

Looking at the table above, the closest major city to Betws-y-Coed is
Manchester, which is only 1¾ hours away. According to the table below,
the most number of visitors came from the North-West, so my
predictions are correct.

Area from?

Total

How Long?

Total

Accommodation

Total

Purchase

Total

Why

Total

Scotland

3

1 day

52

B & B

27

Souvenir

44

Scenery

87

North

11

2 days

42

Hotel

40

Food

72

Hiking

60

N.East

7

3 to 5

38

Self

6

Clothing

32

Climbing

15

N.West

37

6 to 7

11

Camp

18

Outdoor

42

Canoeing

1

East

7

> 7

9

Caravan

21

Books/News

20

Shopping

22

Midlands

36

other

1

YHA

7

Other

4

Other

25

E.Anglia

6

Other

7

S.East

21

S.West

4

N.Wales

9

S.Wales

5

N.Ireland

1

Ireland

3

Int.

3

A large number of people came from the South-East. Many people were
probably from London, coming up to Wales for the weekend, seeing as it
was a Saturday when we visited. According to the driving times table,
London is only about 4 hours from Betws-y-Coed, but there are
excellent motorway links from London to Betws-y-Coed:

[IMAGE]

The above map shows a suggested quick route from London to
Betws-y-Coed. The route takes the M1 up to Coventry, then the M42,
then the M54, then the A5 (Watling Street) straight into Betws-y-Coed
(which the A5 passes through).

The route is almost entirely motorways, and because of this fact,
people visit Betws-y-Coed from London.

I would expect the majority of people to visit for one day, because,
unless you are a serious walker or climber, you probably wouldn't like
to stay in Betws-y-Coed for more than one day.

[IMAGE]

Most of the people stayed for one day only, but quite a few people
stayed for 2 or 3-5 days. We need to have a look at another graph -
where are these people staying?

Betws-y-Coed is full of hotels and B&B's, especially on the A5 out
towards Waterloo Bridge. There is also a youth hostel. Surrounding
Betws-y-Coed are many caravan and camping parks, and, whilst walking
through Betws-y-Coed, I saw quite a few cars with caravans attached.

[IMAGE]

[The term, "Self" means Self-catering]

40 people who were interviewed stayed in a hotel. This is probably
because there are lots of hotels in and around Betws-y-Coed. B&B's
came in second, with 27 people staying in a B&B. There were probably
many more, because a lot of the B&B's which I saw in Betws-y-Coed had
"No Vacancies" signs in the windows.

Betws-y-Coed, apart from being full of hotels and B&B's, is also full
of shops. Many of the shops were selling artefacts for tourists, Welsh
wool products, food and climbing and outdoor gear. I predict that
souvenirs and clothing will sell the most - outdoor gear can be
purchased in towns.

[IMAGE]

Food was the main purchase. Most of the shops (such as souvenir shops)
were selling ice creams out of a freezer near to the till. Because it
was a hot day, ice cream sales were high, therefore this might have
boosted the food value.

The souvenir value, as I predicted, is the second highest. Although it
is quite personal, it would be interesting to see what items people
have bought. Many people will have bought either clothing or souvenirs
such as Welsh wool products.

Outdoor items such as climbing and walking gear were quite popular,
because Betws-y-Coed is so close to Snowdon. There were several
outdoor shops in Betws-y-Coed, and a large one on the A5 heading
towards Waterloo Bridge.

For the question, "Why have you visited Betws-y-Coed?", I would expect
the majority to be either scenery or walking. These activities are
very popular because Betws-y-Coed is very close to some of the most
spectacular scenery in the United Kingdom. Snowdonia National Park is
the second largest park in England and Wales, after the Lake District.
In 2001, over 20 million people visited Snowdonia National Park (that
is more than the population of the Netherlands).

[IMAGE]

I can summarise the above results by plotting a pie chart, using
percentages:

[Total number of people surveyed - 210]

Reason Why

Percentage (%)

Scenery

40

Hiking

29

Climbing

7

Canoeing

1

Shopping

11

Other

12

[IMAGE]

It is easier to draw a pie chart from percentage rather than raw data
because many people picked more than one option, and this may have
altered the processed data slightly.

I added one question to the original survey, "How did you get to
Betws-y-Coed?". I added this question because I thought it silly to do
a tourism survey, and not to find out how this person had got to
Betws-y-Coed.

Mode of Transport

Number of People

Car

5

Train

0

Coach

0

Mini-bus

1

Air*

1

Other

0

I interviewed 6 people for the above question. A Dutch person had
flown from Schipol Airport (Amsterdam) then hired a car and drove down
to Betws-y-Coed (this is what the asterisk is denoting).

If we work out the percentage for each value:

Mode of Transport

Percentage (%)

Car

71

Train

0

Coach

0

Mini-bus

14

Air

14

Other

0

[Values do not add up to 100% due to rounding]

The reason that most of the people drove to Betws-y-Coed is because
there are good transport links with the rest of the country. Despite
the increasing petrol prices, driving is still the most practical way
to get from A to B. Even though the car park prices in Betws-y-Coed
are a lot higher than other car parks around the country, people will
still pay money to park their car.

Evaluation

Overall, I found that I got successful data that backed up my original
predictions very well. I was surprised how easy it was to interpret
the data, because it was so clear and apparent.

I thought that by adding the extra question to the survey would give
some interesting results. Even though I thought that 100% of the
people came by car, I still got some interesting results. Even though
Betws-y-Coed has a train station, which is probably connected to the
main train routes, no one came to Betws-y-Coed by train. Perhaps
because it is quite expensive, or maybe no-one has the inclination to
go to Betws-y-Coed by train.

Some of the methods used in obtaining this evidence were slightly
unreliable. Therefore, I have summarised all the methods up in the
following methods table, but I have outlined the main limitations with
the methods.

Data Collected For…

Why was it collected?

How was it collected?

Evaluation of the methods or problems/limitations with methods

Car Park Survey

The car park survey enabled us to see which times the most tourists
were in Betws-y-Coed. If we link the data from the car park survey
with the data from the car park survey, we can see when the vast
majority of tourists arrive in Betws-y-Coed.

The data was collected straight after the traffic survey. When a pair
had finished collecting data for the traffic survey, they walked to
the main car park and counted the number of cars in the main car park,
which was just round the corner from the location of the traffic
survey.

Some groups may have missed cars or not counted correctly, because
they stood at one end of the car park instead of walking around the
car park and counting each car individually. Apart from this, there
are virtually no flaws with this survey.

Pedestrian Survey

This data shows the most popular areas of Betws-y-Coed. It shows us
how many tourists there are and shows us the problems with having too
many tourists. This data can be connected with the litter survey.

The survey was taken at the same time, 11:00 at a designated site in
Betws-y-Coed (the same site for the litter survey). At 11:00, each
student counted the number of pedestrians passing the site on both
sides of the road for 30 seconds.

There were no problems with this survey because it is so simple. Some
people in the busier areas might have counted the same person twice,
but the fact it was done for only 30 seconds reduces the chances of
catching the same person twice.

Litter Survey

This survey was taken so we could see what effect tourists have on the
local area. Seeing as the title for this piece of work is "The Impact
of Tourism on Betws-y-Coed", it is sensible and good practise to study
something that explores the title of the assessment.

The data for the litter survey was taken straight after the pedestrian
survey at the same site. At their designated site, each student had to
perform a 360o eye sweep of a radius of 5 metres, and assess the
litter on a scoring system from -3 to +3 to show how clean the site
is.

The major problem was that the data from this survey was very much
based upon each individual's opinion, and not as a joint decision. It
would have been better for each student to go to each site in
Betws-y-Coed, and perform an individual assessment of each spot - the
problem with this is that we didn't have enough time.

Traffic Survey

This data was collected to show us how popular Betws-y-Coed and the
local area are. The data from the traffic survey provided a useful
insight into when the busiest times in Betws-y-Coed were.

The traffic survey was taken at the same spot throughout the day. One
person counted the number of cars going west (towards all the major
cities) and one person counted the cars going East (towards Snowdonia
National Park) for 15 minutes. The survey was taken between 10:00 and
14:00.

The problem with the traffic survey was that it is not a reliable
source of information for telling us how many of the cars that passed
stopped in Betws-y-Coed, or in Snowdonia National Park itself. We
could have also counted the same car twice, and also, it does not tell
us what type of vehicles pass through Betws-y-Coed (e.g. lorries,
cars, bikes etc.). However, it does give us a vague idea of how
popular the area around Betws-y-Coed is.

Petrol Prices

This data was collected to find out if petrol in a remote rural
environment is more expensive than petrol in an urban environment.

The petrol prices survey was taken at a garage on the way out of
Betws-y-Coed, at a time which suited me.

This survey is virtually flawless, because there is nothing in it that
could go wrong.

Interviews

This information was collected to help me answer my target questions,
set in the introduction, above. Through the interviews, I found out
how the area and the location of Betws-y-Coed is involved with
tourism, how tourism has impacted the local economy, if there were any
drawbacks to tourism and is traffic a major issue in Betws-y-Coed.

My interviews were performed between 12:00 and 13:00 when I felt there
were the most tourists. My questionnaire sheet had an added question
on it.

The methods used in collecting this data were very simple, and I had
little problems with it. There was no worry of interviewing the same
person twice, because at the start of the questionnaire, we asked them
whether or not they had already been interviewed. There is, however,
one limitation. If I had asked the same questionnaire in July or
August, at the height of summer, I would have got very different
results. Because it was the Bank Holiday weekend, many people decided
to go for one day, but, if I had asked the same questionnaire in July
or August, I would have got very different results - people would stay
longer.

Grocery Store Prices

The data was collected to find out if local shops were more expensive,
so they could generate more money, or if goods were more expensive in
a rural environment.

The data for this survey was collected in two convenience stores. I
asked the shop owner if he/she didn't mind me walking around noting
down prices. For some prices, like wine and tobacco, I had to ask the
shop owner.

Some of the brand names weren't available in the Sheffield store, so
this presented a problem, seeing as I had to find the closest possible
alternative. A lot of the meat and dairy products were from Wales,
therefore, back in Sheffield, I had to compare those prices with
prices from traditionally outdoor-reared meat from my local butchers.
This may account for a difference. Another problem is that in the
store in Betws-y-Coed, there was a special offer on one of its
products I looked at, so this may have caused a slight error in the
final result.

Noise Survey

The noise survey was taken to see where the most noise pollution was
coming from. We can then link this with the tourist hot-spots in
Betws-y-Coed.

This survey was taken by a selected pair who had a noise level meter,
which measured the noise level in decibels (dB). They went round each
site and measured the amount of noise there was, and recorded this
result down in a table.

The major problem with the noise survey is that we didn't have a noise
level meter for each individual person. Therefore, we couldn't measure
the noise all at the same time and we might have got an inaccurate
result. It took the pair quite some time to walk around Betws-y-Coed,
and by that time, the traffic may have died down significantly. Some
results might have been taken before all the tourists have arrived in
Betws-y-Coed.

If I go back to my original questions, I can now answer them.

Q. How has tourism impacted on the local economy?

Tourism has increased the local economy significantly. Many people in
Betws-y-Coed are employed in providing services to the tourists,
whether it be serving ice-creams or working in a souvenir store.
Locals in and around Betws-y-Coed will be employed in the shops and
restaurants. However, these jobs are seasonal and
"weather-permitting". Many people visit Betws-y-Coed in the summer,
and this will generate thousands, possibly even millions of pounds.
However, in the winter, there will be very little input from tourism,
because it is low season, therefore the people who work in
Betws-y-Coed will certainly have jobs elsewhere in the area. I noted
that by the railway station, there was a line of new shops and
restaurants. I am guessing these buildings were partly funded by money
from tourism.

Q. How does the location of Betws-y-Coed influence numbers of
visitors?

I already know that Betws-y-Coed lies in the heart of Snowdonia
National Park, and, having visited Cwm Idwal and the Nant Ffrancon
Valley the previous day, I know how beautiful the scenery is.
Betws-y-Coed is in the proximity of Cwm Idwal, the Nant Ffrancon
Valley, Snowdon and the mountain railway. Snowdonia National Park is a
climbing and walking hotspot, therefore some shops in Betws-y-Coed
sell outdoor equipment and climbing gear. Many visitors come to
Snowdonia National Park to see the outstanding scenery (this is echoed
in the data from my interviews). However, Betws-y-Coed is quite far
from major motorways, therefore this might influence the number of
tourists. Honeypots near major roads may receive more visitors than
Betws-y-Coed, and honeypots near major cities may receive more
visitors. For example, Keswick in the Lake District is only 32km from
Carlisle. Castleton in the Peak District is only 20km from Sheffield.
The nearest major city to Betws-y-Coed is Manchester, so this fact may
influence the number of visitors.

Q. What are the drawbacks to tourism?

The drawbacks to tourism are more apparent when you enter
Betws-y-Coed. There are hardly any shops for the locals, who live in
Betws-y-Coed. Almost all the shops are tourist-related. The only shops
the locals will find useful is the convenience stores and the
newsagent. There is one major drawback to tourism - litter. Wherever
tourists go, they create litter, and in some places, litter can be a
serious problem. In some honeypot sites, schemes have been put in
place to try and reduce the amount of litter, for example, Malham in
the Yorkshire Dales. The problem is also apparent in other areas.
Walking on footpaths creates erosion, and so does climbing. Some
people choose to not stick to the designated path and walk on the
grassy banks, therefore damaging them.

Q. Is traffic an issue?

The local council in Betws-y-Coed are trying desperately to control
the number of cars through Betws-y-Coed. There is one main car park,
but it quickly fills up throughout the day, and some people double
park or illegally park their cars. Along the A5 which runs through
Betws-y-Coed, there are double yellow lines and warning signs. Despite
this, there are still too many cars. According to my data above, over
70% of all the visitors arrive by car. A shuttle bus service does run
into Betws-y-Coed, but it is hardly used by the visitors. The main car
park does have a separate park for coaches, but most of the visitors
arrive by car. The data above shows that none of the visitors arrived
by public transport. Traffic is a major issue in Betws-y-Coed, and, if
further measures aren't taken soon, Betws-y-Coed will soon turn into a
Welsh version of London before the congestion charge.

However, there are solutions to the traffic problem in Betws-y-Coed.
Park and ride schemes do operate, but, unfortunately, there is hardly
any land surrounding Betws-y-Coed to build one on. Because of the
limited space, no new car-parks can be built.

Bibliography

The maps seen on pages 2, 3, 20, 25 and 26 are courtesy of Microsoft
MapPoint 2003. © Microsoft Corporation.

The maps seen on pages 7, 9 and 10 are courtesy of www.multimap.com

The map seen on page 22 has been taken from www.betws-y-coed.net and
reproduced with permission.


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