Conwy has been named one of the most beautiful places in Europe and the most stunning tourist spot in the UK.
The medieval town has won the hearts of Japanese officials who chose it from a list of almost 160 places.
The World Heritage site was the only UK destination to make the short list and will now be promoted as a must see stop for Japanese tourists.
Photos of iconic sites, including the castle and the smallest house in Britain, will be displayed at the country’s Tourism Expo in Tokyo this November – which attracted 157, 589 visitors last year.
Politicians and local business owners have welcomed the accolade as “huge news for the town” and an excellent way to promote Wales.
Roy Williams, head custodian of the iconic Conwy Castle said the recognition was “exciting” as it should bring in more Japanese visitors who often stop in the walled city of Chester.
Cowny Castle and suspension bridge in an historic image from around 1900
Mr Williams said 180, 000 people visited the Edwardian castle last year, with more visitors from eastern Europe and Russia exploring the battlements than before.
He said: “This is going to lead to a new market, I’m not sure we see as many as we should here really.
“It should have a big impact not just to the castle but to the wider area.”
Stuart Madden/Flickr/Creative CommonsConwy Castle at night
Meanwhile Emma Baravelli – who runs an Artisan chocolate shop in Conwy with her husband Mark – welcomed the new.
She said: “anything that brings people into the town must be good”.
Conwy was put forward by Visit Wales and the Welsh Government Tokyo office in Japan in March – then these bodies alongside Conwy Borough Council presented a bid for the town, which was chosen by the Team Europe Tourism Promotion Council “as it will appeal to Japanese travellers, as beautiful places that they will want to visit”.See also: