THE government quango responsible for boosting jobs in Wales blew almost £150,000 of public money on a six-month blitz entertaining clients.
The jollies included private boxes at American football and basketball games, trips to Australia, Hong Kong and France and reception dinners.
The Welsh Development Agency spent £143,499 of public money hosting businesses and politicians from November to April. The figures were released to Wales on Sunday under the Freedom of Information Act.
They include almost £28,000 on a trip to the Hong Kong Sevens to "target Chinese and Australian multipliers and business projects", £9,500 on three visits to America to watch the Miami Dolphins football and Boston Celtics basketball teams, and £15,000 on hospitality for London firms at the Wales v England Six Nations tie.
Last night opposition politicians rounded on the WDA. Alun Cairns, Tory economic development spokesman, said: "When hundreds of WDA staff are facing redundancy as a result of the merger with the Welsh Assembly Government, it will be difficult for the Agency to explain why thousands of pounds are being spent on events such as the Miami Dolphins.
"This is more akin to a holiday treat rather than the promotion of Wales as an inward investment opportunity.
"There is no doubt some hospitality is needed but it seems to me that the line has been crossed and hospitality for investors is now a perk for WDA executives."
But the WDA insisted every event they paid for provided the taxpayer with value for money.
A spokesman said: "The WDA has a number of corporate hospitality opportunities to consider each year, all of which are weighed up in conjunction with a clear business case and value for money. In the case of events pursued overseas, these are utilised in market by the local WDA office and in conjunction with target contacts in those locations."
The list also includes £1,500 for a box at the Lyric Opera in Chicago, £11,000 on dinners in Australia and £6,000 entertaining developers in France.
Jenny Randerson, Lib Dem economic development spokeswoman, said the WDA had to say which companies had come to Wales as a direct result of their "schmoozing".
She said: "It's not the amount of money they spent, it's a question of whether we're getting a return on that money."
Shadow Economic Development Minister, Plaid Cymru's Elin Jones labelled the figures "shocking".
"A few people probably had a very nice time in Miami and Hong Kong but what real good did it bring to Wales?"