Demonstrating that Dark Sky status has economic value, especially outside peak seasons.
Snowdonia National Park has been awarded International Dark Sky status – one of only 11 globally.
The award means Wales is now the country with the highest proportion of its territory boasting night skies with a protected status at circa 18%. The status awarded to Snowdonia is given by the International Dark Sky Association to places that have proven the quality of their night air is outstanding and real efforts are being made to reduce light pollution.
The aim of this project is to proactively engage with the tourism sector in order to demonstrate how astro tourism can be packaged and presented to tourists. As with other Leader projects the aim is to work intensively with a small number of businesses, prior to sharing lessons learnt with a wider audience.
Arloesi Gwynedd Wledig, through an open call process, recruited 14 tourism businesses that were eager to participate in the trial. The selection criteria included a good geographical spread across the National Park, a broad selection of accommodation providers, a willingness to contribute to events and collect feedback from customers.
The selected businesses attended workshops in which they were provided with an overview of Dark Sky designation and why Snowdonia has been selected. They were also shown how they could take advantage of it and given examples from others such as Northumberland.
All the businesses were provided with equipment and materials to be used by customers. Once the trial is complete Arloesi Gwynedd Wledig will share the equipment with other businesses as required who were not part of the project.
The highlight of the project was a stargazing event which attracted 50 businesses. The event was hosted by Dark Sky Wales and provided an insight into how an event should be organised and marketed. We are aware that many of those attending are intending to arrange their own events.
Plas Tan-y-Bwlch Workshop -
Llyn Gwynant Workshop -