HC Deb 24 April 1968 vol 763 cc210-1
24. Mr. Patrick Jenkin

asked the President of the Board of Trade what estimate he has made of the increase in the volume of the tourist trade of Great Britain necessary to offset the effects of devaluation; and what increase he is anticipating in 1968 over 1967.

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

Having regard to their country of residence, it is estimated that an increase of about 14 per cent. in visitors' expenditure, in sterling terms, would be needed to earn the same amount of foreign currency as before devaluation. I hope that devaluation will give an additional impetus to the continued growth of tourist earnings and that the increase between 1967 and 1968 will be at least as great as this.

Mr. Jenkin

Is the Minister of State satisfied that the capacity of the tourist industry will be sufficient to accommodate this increase? When, if I can put the question to him as the Parliamentary Secretary was unable to answer it, is the legislation providing for the grants to be introduced, and when does he expect the first hotel grant to be paid?

Mr. Mallalieu

I believe that there is a question on this later. The White Paper, which will give the full details of this scheme, will be published shortly and legislation will be introduced early next Session. I imagine that the first grants will, therefore, be payable, subject to the approval of the House, in 1969. In the meantime, I think that the capacity of the tourist industry is equal to the great influx of tourists.

Mr. Lomas

Will the Minister indicate what action his Department is taking to increase the number of camping and caravan sites in this country? Is he, as a Yorkshireman, doing all he can to encourage tourists from abroad to go to Yorkshire?

Mr. Mallalieu

The Yorkshire Travel Association has been doing brilliant work in showing off the virtues of that great county.

The British Travel Association has selected 12 possible sites for new camps in key positions and we hope, through the operation of the Countryside Bill, that it will be possible to develop them fairly shortly.