More than four million visitors injected more than half a billion pounds into the Pembrokeshire economy in just one year.

The figures for 2010 have come as part of two sets of newly-released statistics giving an insight into the Pembrokeshire tourism trade.

They show a rise in tourist numbers by almost 30,000 to 4.2million and an increase in the average time visitors spent in the county — 3.3 days in 2010, compared to 3.1 in 2009.

And this all helped to boost total visitor spending in Pembrokeshire by 5.4% to £544million. according to the UK-wide Steam (Scarborough Tourism Economic Activity Monitor) model.

The model also suggests that more than 16,300 full-time equivalent jobs are supported by the county’s tourism industry, an increase of 3% since 2009.

Meanwhile, April 2011 accommodation occupancy figures in Pembrokeshire show significant increases on April 2010, particularly in the self-catering and touring park sectors.

Self-catering occupancy was running at 73% in April this year, compared to 56% in the same month in 2010.

Touring caravan and camping pitch occupancy rose to 55%, compared to 47% last year.

Pembrokeshire Tourism, the county’s tourism association which represents more than 550 businesses, carried out a member survey after the spring bank holiday, which suggests that businesses remain generally optimistic about their prospects.

A total of 37% of businesses reported an increase in business compared to the same period in 2010, while 28% said it was unchanged and 28% reported that business was down.

Only 18% of businesses said they had more forward bookings for the rest of 2011 than in 2010 with 19% the same and 31% fewer, but with the increasing trend for late bookings, the true picture of the year is only likely to emerge once the peak season has passed.