HC Deb 17 June 1964 vol 696 cc1263-4
11. Mr. N. McLean

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what was the estimated number of tourist visitors to Scotland in 1963.

Mr. Noble

The Scottish Tourist Board's latest report estimates the number of visitors in 1963 as 5.1 millions. These figures are based on returns from Scottish hotels and guest houses. They include visitors from England and Wales, from other parts of the United Kingdom and from overseas.

Mr. McLean

Do not these figures show that the tourist industry will and must play an increasingly important rôle in the Scottish economy? What estimate has my right hon. Friend of the number of visitors to Scotland over the next few years?

Mr. Noble

I see no reason why the numbers should not continue to go up. It is difficult to split up the available figures, but I see that the British Travel and Holidays Association has estimated that the number of overseas visitors to Scotland last year was 710,000. This was a considerable increase over any of the previous three years.

Mr. Bence

Does that figure include the hon. Member for Inverness (Mr. N. McLean)?

Commander Donaldson

Does my right hon. Friend appreciate that one factor this year causing concern to the tourist industry and to the Tourist Board is the number of cancellations, stretching as far ahead as to the end of August, made of hotel bookings as far south as the Border following the Aberdeen typhoid outbreak? Will my right hon. Friend soon make an authoritative statement about the outbreak and the clearance of the trouble, as this affects tourists from the south of Britain considering visiting Scotland during the season?

Mr. Noble

All I can say at the moment is that among the 5 million people I mentioned one would expect a certain small number of cancellations. That is only natural. The epidemic seems to be dying down now and I have every hope that the available tourist accommodation in Scotland will be full again very quickly.