Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething, has had a sneak preview of the new luxury lodges at Folly Farm, ahead of what is expected to be a busy Easter.

Folly Farm’s new accommodation development has had funding from the Welsh government and the luxury lodges which will open to the public in the summer.

A further eight safari lodges will arrive at the end of the year, which will overlook the rhino enclosure.

The minister also had an opportunity to see the touring and camping park which has this week received a 5 star Visit Wales grading.

Other developments at the farm include a new indoor soft play area, eight brand new Takeuchi mini-diggers for the Big Dig attraction, a new native species enclosure, extensive themed development for the rare breed paddocks and new land train carriages.

“We’re looking forward to a busy Easter and Summer season at the attraction having had a record-breaking February half term,” said managing director Chris Ebsworth.

“Advanced bookings for our accommodation are strong and we’re looking forward to our first full season of operation in two years.”

The minister also visited the Grove of Narberth which, along with its sister sites, has been working hard to address the recruitment issues facing the sector.

At the start of 2022 flexible working practices were introduced, meaning that all staff can work to a four-day-a-week rota with no adjustment to salary The business has also introduced a profit-sharing scheme alongside other staff package improvements including long service holiday rewards.

Neil Kedward, Managing Director of the Seren group, said: “We’re delighted to have made this progressive and important change for the individuals across our businesses Grove of Narberth and Coast Restaurant in Saundersfoot.

“We are already seeing the impact of this change in helping our teams find real balance in their lives.

“We have invested significantly over the years to get the product right in each venue, and so now we are well placed to invest much more in our people.”

The Economy Minister said: “It’s been an incredibly difficult couple of years for the visitor economy.

“However, research now shows there is higher confidence and comfort levels, and the UK public anticipate taking significantly more overnight trips in the next 12 months, than the previous 12 months.”