HC Deb 02 July 1979 vol 969 cc879-80
1. Mr. David Atkinson

asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he is satisfied with the present distribution of grant and subsidies for tourism.

The Under-Secretary of State for Trade (Mr. Norman Tebbit)

As I told my hon. Friend the Member for Harrow, Central (Mr. Grant) and others on 21 May, we are at present considering whether to make changes in the ways the Government support the industry.

Mr. Atkinson

I thank the Minister for his reply, and welcome the review that he is presently undertaking. Does he accept that the present distribution of grants discriminates unfairly against the South Coast resorts, and, as all our resorts and tourist centres are in stiff competition with those in Europe, does he agree that they all ought to benefit fairly from those grants and subsidies which are available?

Mr. Tebbit

As my hon. Friend knows, I am all in favour of fairness in all things, but to him to expect me to go further than that is to ask me to prejudge the outcome of the review that we are undertaking.

Mr. Banks

Bearing in mind that tourism concentrates its pressures mostly in the south, will my hon. Friend use any grants at his disposal to create and enhance tourist attractions in the North of England particularly in areas away from the existing centres such as York?

Mr. Tebbit

Once again, if I may say so, I do not create tourist attractions. Most of them were created long before our time and are not Government responsibilities in any way. Certainly the funds that we have, which go through the BTA, the ETB and the other organisations concerned, are designed largely to draw the attention of travellers to the attractions of places other than London and the South-East.

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