INTERNATIONAL cruise ship passengers have taken a shine to Holyhead – despite it recently being named as one of the most deprived areas in North Wales.
In November of last year Holyhead Town Centre was named as one of the poorest areas of North Wales.
The port town was ranked at 168 in a Welsh Government report, making it the most deprived area on Anglesey.
However, according to a visitor book passengers aboard the Carnival Pride cruise ship – which visits exotic destinations around the globe – the town has proved a big hit.
Launched in 2002, the ship can carry around 2,124 passengers.
It voyages have included places such as the Western Caribbean, The Panama Canal, Central America, as well as the USA, UK and European destinations.
The passengers shared their views at a pop-up heritage exhibition at the town’s newly refurbished Market Hall and some enjoyed visiting the ‘old town’ area of Anglesey’s largest town.
Mike and Mona Roberts from Missouri wrote “Nice visit, nice town – lots of fun!”
The Quigley family from Michigan added: “Lovely library and town!”
Anglesey’s Deputy Leader and Economy Portfolio Holder, Cllr Carwyn Jones, said “Unsurprisingly, our beautiful island is proving to be a very popular port of call for cruise ship passengers.
“It’s important that we continue to work hard to ensure that we maximise the positive local economic benefit this has across all of our communities.”
“As well as improving the visitor experience in Holyhead, we are also actively encouraging the cruise ship tour buses to visit various destinations around Anglesey and have also arranged training for local tour guides.”
St. Cybi’s medieval church and the unusually well-preserved Roman Fort are also popular with visitors and residents.
The unique heritage assets are set fornew investment proposals aimed at enhancing visitor experiences – including a new viewing platform to the north-east tower of the Fort.
Holyhead Heritage Regeneration Project Manager, Nathan Blanchard, who planned and delivered the award-winning Market Hall project,said
“It’s fantastic to be able to welcome so many international visitors to the town and the Market Hall.
“The area is so rich in history and culture, it’s great to be able to display and share this at an exhibition.”
He added, “I’d like to thank Kirsty Baker who has made this exhibition a success and local residents for providing the visitors with a warm welcome.
“The feedback we’ve received from the visitors has been incredibly positive, and we hope to arrange similar exhibitions in the future.”