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Cardiff: Champion's League awakens Welsh dragon

With a strong cultural dynamism and a rich calendar of events, Cardiff is one of Wales' must-see destinations.

Cardiff is the economic engine of Wales, bringing together most of the major institutions and many centralised services in the education and health sectors. After seeing its population decline in the 1980s with deindustrialization, Cardiff saw it rebound in the 2000s. After the slowdown in harbor and industrial activity, the city turned to the fields of energy, communications or finance. The city is home to offices of Centrica, HBOS, ING Direct, Swalec and Zurich Insurance Group. In 2017, Cardiff airport carried nearly 1.5 million passengers.

The Central Square buildings are now almost complete and will house Hugh James and the Cardiff School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies in the summer of 2018. The new BBC Cymru Wales offices (£120 million) are expected to be completed in spring 2018, but the full staff move is not scheduled until early 2020.

Chain supply grew only slightly in Cardiff, the only notable movement being the integration of Hotel Indigo into IHG, offset by the network exit of a Puma Hotel Collection property.

With an occupancy rate of 80.8% for 2017 as a whole, Cardiff is now ahead of many leading European tourist destinations. Due to its event-driven nature, however, cardiffois tourism is subject to wide variations in performance. 2017 was a year rich in major events, with notably the Champions League final and the Beer Festival. Compared to 2016, RevPAR grew by 10.9%, driven jointly by prices (up 8.1%) and occupancy rate (up 2 points). Cardiff ranks second nationally in terms of RevPAR growth in 2017, behind Edinburgh.

Find the complete analysis of the performances by range of Cardiff and other British cities, thanks to the European Hospitality Report.

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