HC Deb 14 December 1983 vol 50 c990
14. Mr. Adley

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what responses he has received to his proposals for reorganising tourism infrastructure; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Butcher

The response so far to the conclusions of the tourism review has been favourable. The chairmen of the BTA and the ETB have already taken steps towards the implementation of those proposals that affect the two boards.

Mr. Adley

I thank my hon. Friend for that reply and share the general welcome that has been given to the statement by my hon. Friend the Minister of State. Is it not a fact, however, that the full objectives that my hon. Friend and the Government presumably seek to achieve cannot really be achieved without legislation? In view of the unease felt, in Scotland particularly, about the Minister's proposals, will my hon. Friend confirm that it is not the intention, by appointing a single chairman from the BTA and ETB, in any way to reduce the role or the effectiveness of the Wales or Scottish tourist boards?

Mr. Butcher

The House is often reluctant to bring in legislation too frequently. However, I can tell my hon. Friend that, as far as Scotland is concerned, the Tourism (Overseas Promotion) (Scotland) Bill received its Second Reading in another place on 29 November. This is intended to fulfil the Scottish manifesto commitment to extend the powers of the STB to enable it to carry out promotion overseas. The new powers are intended to supplement rather than replace the promotion of Scotland overseas by the BTA and there will be no cut in BT A's budget on that account.

Mr. Janner

When considering proposals for the revamping of our tourist industry, will the Minister consult the Home Secretary regarding ways in which we may achieve the courteous and decent reception of visitors at ports of entry, particularly those from the Indian subcontinent? Does he accept that the present humiliation and harassment of so many visitors by so many immigration officers is bringing us into disrepute?

Mr. Butcher

I hope that those who run our airports will ensure that there is not a shoddy reception for visitors, from whatever part of the world they come.