Visiting the the recently-opened Penderyn Distillery in Llandudno as it prepares to open to the public, the First Minister said that he is determined to ensure that the north can look forward to "a stronger, greener and fairer future."
The £5m distillery received £1.4m from the Welsh Government’s Tourism Investment scheme and Food Investment Scheme.
The First Minister also visited Bryniau Clwyd a Dyffryn Dyfrdwy Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the northeast, where he heard more about how the area was investing in a more sustainable future while also supporting the tourism industry.
The First Minister said: "I’m very pleased to have the opportunity to visit the Penderyn Distillery today, which will become a firm favourite for visitors and locals alike. It’s an innovative and exciting addition to the many attractions Llandudno and North Wales have to offer.
"Tourism has always been important to North Wales, and seeing Llandudno today it is easy to see why. The past year has been very difficult for the industry, which is why seeing the distillery opened is positive for the future. There are other developments too, such as the new Hilton Hotel at Adventure Parc Snowdonia at Dolgarrog.
"Our landscapes are a huge draw to visitors, while also providing a home to local communities and nature. We will keep investing in our National Parks and AONBs to protect these protected landscapes for the future and to ensure they deliver on a wide range of benefits – from biodiversity to sustainable tourism.
"While the challenges remain I am determined that this Welsh Government will focus on ensuring North Wales has a stronger and fairer future, with no one left behind. We have a programme of exciting developments for the region, including the establishment of a North Wales medical school.
"I look forward to working with partners across the region as we work towards a better future."
Minister for North Wales Lesley Griffiths, who also joined the visit, said: "I’m pleased to have carried out my first visit as Minister for North Wales, and at such a great location. I’ll be working across the region to deal with the challenges we face as a result of the pandemic and looking to the future, I’m excited about all the new opportunities and developments to come for North Wales."