World Sheepdog Trialling Champion, Aled Owen, will play host to twelve Japanese travel writers and agents later this week in a bid to make a visit to a traditional Welsh sheep farm an absolute must for tourists from the land of the rising sun.
Aled, who has 300 sheep and five dogs on his 100 acre farm at Llangwm near Corwen, Denbighshire, believes there is a great deal of interest in the skills involved as man and dog work in unison with a common goal of in ensuring the most stubborn of sheep enter the most confined of pens.
A visit to a Welsh sheep farm is most definitely a day out with a difference, said 45-year-old Aled, "Watching a sheepdog in action is a fascinating, informative and an entertaining experience, he added.
The visit to Aleds farm by the travel writers and agents from all parts of Japan has been set-up by Montgomery-based tourism consultants, EuroWales.
According to official figures there are presently 7,000 annual trips to Wales by Japanese tourists which last year contributed £4m into the Welsh economy," said EuroWales Principal, Emyr Griffith."Our aim is to substantially increase those numbers as Japanese tour organisers become aware of the various aspects to life in Wales which can be experienced by their clients, he added.
Aled Owen was proclaimed the world sheepdog champion two months ago, following a gruelling four-day competition in Bala, Gwynedd, with his five-year-old collie, Bob. Last month he travelled to the United States where he was offered an opportunity to exhibit his talents and assert the virtues of working sheepdogs.
Aled has also turned his sheepdog trialling success into an Agri-theatre and Sheepdog Centre business venture providing regular demonstrations to visitors to his farm. The on-site Ewe-phoria bistro can also provide guests with some of the best in Welsh culinary delights.