HC Deb 14 March 1989 vol 149 cc278-9
13. Mr. Sayeed

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will make a statement on the progress of the tourism industry in Bristol.

Mr. Lee

The estimated annual 1 million visitors to Bristol and the high levels of investment in tourism projects show clearly that Bristol is sharing in the general prosperity and expansion of our domestic tourism industry.

Mr. Sayeed

I welcome my hon. Friend's reply, but is he aware that most tourists get no further west than Bath and appear unaware of the historic and architectural merit of Bristol? What are the employment implications of Avon county council's failure to take part in the West Country tourist board and Bristol city council's antagonistic and contemptuous attitude to tourism?

Mr. Lee

I am sorry that Avon county council is the only council that is not a member of its regional tourist board. I am happy to say that, despite that, about £34 million worth of investment has been made in Bristol. Exciting developments are under way in the harbour and waterfront area, a number of which I have seen.

Mr. Douglas

When the Minister goes to Bristol, he will no doubt visit the SS Great Britain, which is a monument to the British merchant fleet. Will he acknowledge that we have other monuments under this Government, such as our merchant shipbuilding capacity? What will the Government do about that?

Mr. Lee

I recollect that when I was a Minister at the Ministry of Defence I heard similar speeches from the hon. Gentleman. I suggest that he puts that question during Defence Question Time rather than at Employment Question Time.

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