Shropshire Star

World Cup sees interest in Wales travel blogger's website go through the roof

Wales’s World Cup exploits caused a meltdown on a Powys travel blogger’s website – with confused Americans asking if Wales is a country.

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Kieren Windsor

Kieren Windsor, who launched Wales Guidebook online at over the summer saw a 581 per cent surge in traffic to his site after Wales kicked off their campaign against the USA.

The 30-year-old has now had to undergo a hasty upgrade to stop his website from crashing after his article, 'Is Wales a country?' quickly picked up traction from Americans who took to Google for research.

Top enquiries have been What language do they speak in Wales? Is Wales England? Is Wales good at soccer? Where is Wales? How is Wales a Country?

Internet surfers found a lot of answers on Kieren's blog, which provides a quirky but comprehensive guide to the Land of His Fathers and aims to turn up the gems hidden among the best-known holiday hotspots.

Kieren has now produced a list of the Top 10 links between the two countries as Wales was also the Land of their Fathers to many of America’s Founding Fathers.

At least five of the signatories of the Declaration of Independence were Welsh or of recent Welsh descent.

On top of that there have been at least eight US Presidents with Welsh ancestry, including Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, John Adams and John Quincy Adams.

And right up to date, American actor Rob McElhenney, star of hit show It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, who is now the co-owner, along with Hollywood A-lister Ryan Reynolds, of Wrexham AFC, the third oldest football club in the world.

Kieren, 30, a business and marketing graduate from Newtown in Powys, said: "Typically, the people who read my blog are those from other parts of the UK looking to plan a trip to Wales or Welsh people visiting other parts of their country.

"However, there has been a surge in readers from the United States with almost 75 per cent of those reading my ‘Is Wales a Country’ article being Americans.

"Even since the match against America, traffic is continuing to rise. Even the city of Wales, in Alaska, the most westerly city in the USA, population 152, has had a huge spike in interest.”

Kieren, started a backpacking travel blog as a hobby but saw it morph into a full time business in the space of five years after learning about the role of influencers during his employment.

"It's great that people are taking an interest in Wales and are going to the trouble to find out more about it.

"I really hope the interest lasts beyond the World Cup and people start to recognise Wales as a country with its own identity just like the rest of the UK."

Jim Jones, managing director of North Wales Tourism Ltd said: "It's not surprising that the World Cup has prompted a huge interest in Wales as well as Kieren's blog.

"Many people in America and around the world have never heard of Wales so taking part for the first time in 64 years will raise our profile a lot more.

"The interest it will generate in our country will help put us on the map internationally."