Hollywood superstars Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney – who bought Wrexham football club in 2020 – have been celebrated for giving a £1billion boost to Wales by tourism chiefs. Jim Jones, the chief executive of North Wales Tourism, claims the global publicity from the pair investing in the struggling Wrexham football club has put "the whole region on the map like never before".
Millions of people around the world have watched Deadpool and Barbie star Ryan Reynolds and his comedy Rob take over the neglected club. They even managed to get it back into the English football league.
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International visitors from the US, Canada and even Australia have travelled to Wales to join in with the fun generated by the pair in their "Welcome to Wrexham" hit TV series. Tourism boss Jim said: "It's impossible to accurately calculate the precise value of the profile created by their special brand of magic, but the Rob and Ryan factor would undoubtedly be worth more than £1bn if you had to pay for the equivalent coverage in advertising.
"We need to capitalise on the fairytale success of Wrexham football club and the fantastic job Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds are doing, not only in reviving the club and taking it back to the promised land but the global headlines they are getting in the process.
"When it comes to marketing, Rob and Ryan are absolute geniuses. It's brilliant for the city of Wrexham but the whole of North Wales is benefiting from the golden glow of the priceless publicity generated by their brilliant documentary series."
Actor Ryan bought struggling Wrexham AFC with co-chairman Rob for £2m – and quickly got stuck in with reversing its fortune. The team won promotion back to the English Football League and then went on a US tour.
They claim that the TV series has made them the "most popular team in America." We're not surprised by that as Ryan is hugely popular over the pond – while football, known as soccer in the US, is less so.
Jim said: "They've raised our profile, especially in north America and we're already seeing an influx of tourists as a result and they're not just going to Wrexham, they're also exploring the rest of North Wales. After a particularly tough time in tourism and hospitality, Rob and Ryan are providing a ray of sunshine.
"We've got people ringing us up to book tours and they want executive tickets to watch Wrexham and while they're here they also want to do other things to make the most of their visit. Once people come here they are enchanted because we have so much to offer. We have spectacular scenery, fantastic hospitality and amazing attractions in abundance."
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