Wales has long been a country with a proud heritage and strong industrial links to many different sectors. At the turn of the 20th century, Wales was still well known for its coal mining in the valleys of South Wales and the Rhondda Valley.
In the present day, the rolling countryside and green pastures of Wales make for very arable farming land and the country still has a strong connection with the blue-collar industry. However, Wales is also enjoying success in a number of other industries and we’ve taken a look at the top-performing industries in the country over the last few years and how their performance compares to the rest of the UK.
It’s fair to say that with the increasing prominence of eSports and mainstream exposure of games such as Fortnite, online gaming is enjoying worldwide growth. The UK market for consoles, video games, and other related products is valued at more than £5.11 billion by some analysts and is experiencing rapid year on year growth in no small part thanks to Welsh developers and influencers.
With over a million downloads to its name, Wales Interactive is responsible for well-regarded titles such as Jack vs Ninjas and Gravity Badgers. In a similar vein, the Online Casino industry has enjoyed significant growth over the last 10 years in both the UK and Wales thanks to the development of video slots themed around popular TV shows such as The Goonies and Game of Thrones. All in all, the online gaming industry continues to thrive in Wales just as it does throughout the UK and Europe.
Tourism and Industry
Remember that rolling countryside we mentioned earlier? It seems that we aren’t the only ones who enjoy it. Wales was recently voted as one of the 10 most beautiful countries in the world and because of this, it continues to do extremely well on the tourism front. According to Business Wales, tourists spend on average around £14 million a day whilst in Wales, which puts around £5 billion a year back into the economy.
Visit Wales continues to do an excellent job of bringing in tourists and the 2019 “Year of Discovery” will undoubtedly bring more visitors over the Severn Bridge. Visit Britain forecasts that Britain will have a tourism industry worth a little over £257 billion and this will undoubtedly be reflected in the figures surrounding Wales in the near future.
The Digital Economy
Back in late 2016, the London based law-firm Nockolds commissioned a report which found that Wales is the “fastest growing digital economy outside London”. The report showed that from 2015 to 2016, the total number of digital technology businesses increased by 9.2%, which was only bettered by the 11.6% jump in the British capital. Fast forward to 2019 and cities such as Cardiff are as popular as ever for financial technology start-ups.
Wales is facing a digital revolution in the upcoming years. The fact the country is second only to the digital powerhouse which is London is proof positive that digital economy is one of the best performing industries in Wales.
There are a number of thriving industries in the country, especially in the bigger cities such as Swansea; incidentally, the success of Swansea FC and Cardiff FC over the last decade or so has certainly helped to boost the economy and put the country on the map. With the debate still raging on as to whether Wales can “afford” to become independent or not, it’s easy to forget that companies such as Redrow, Iceland and the Admiral Group all hail from Wales. The Wales Start Up Awards are full of promise year on year and a quick perusal of the nominated companies will demonstrate just how bright the future is for Welsh business.