Botanic garden praised in 'secret shopper' scheme

The National Botanic Garden of Wales has received a glowing review from a 'secret shopper' scheme which aims to keep tourist attractions on their toes.

The Carmarthenshire garden was visited by an undercover assessor from the Welsh Assembly Government's tourism arm VisitWales and given a five-star rating.

Staff were described as "professional, helpful, friendly and proactive", while the garden as a whole was rated as "excellent".

The assessor, from the Visitor Attraction Quality Assurance Service (VAQAS) wrote: "The garden offers the visitor a unique setting with a wide range of attractions. The grounds and gardens are very well tended with excellent planting in all areas."

The garden also earned plaudits for interpretation, including a "much improved" visitor leaflet and website with special mention made of a touch-screen facility which allows visitors to print off a themed trail around the Great Glasshouse for 20p.

The assessor's report concluded: "The National Botanic Garden of Wales continues to merit the award of Quality Assured Visitor Attraction."

Garden director Kevin Lamb said he was very pleased: "We believe we have a fantastic attraction here in Carmarthenshire so it is always good to hear that others agree.

"The report is generous in its praise but I think the role played by our excellent staff cannot be overstated, so it is great news that they have earned such a glowing tribute."

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