HC Deb 22 November 1967 vol 754 cc1281-2
1. Mr. Blaker

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he will take steps to encourage investment in the hotel industry in places outside London.

The Minister of State, Board of Trade (Mr, J. P. W. Mallalieu)

I am consider- ing recommendations for encouraging investment in hotels generally which have been submitted by the Economic Development Committee for Hotels and Catering.

Mr. Blaker

Is the Minister of State aware that that news, so far as it goes, will be welcomed? Is he aware that if devaluation is to have the effect of bringing more foreign visitors here and persuading more British people to spend their holidays in Britain, we shall need very many more hotel beds? Is he aware that the existing hotel loan scheme is not a success, and will he replace it with something better?

Mr. Mallalieu

I am very conscious of the points the hon. Member has mentioned. We are reviewing the existing hotel loan scheme to see how it has gone, and are considering whether it should be extended or altered.

Dr. John Dunwoody

In view of devaluation our need to earn foreign currency, and the problems of the development areas, will my hon. Friend see whether he can take additional steps to attract foreign tourists to resorts in the development areas?

Mr. Mallalieu

Grants for building hotels in development areas are already available under the Local Employment Acts.

Mr. Patrick Jenkin

Is not this now the time to relieve the tourist industry of the Selective Employment Tax?

Mr. Mallalieu

That is a matter that the hon. Member had better put to my right hon. Friend.