HC Deb 22 February 1993 vol 219 cc673-4
15. Mr. Robert Banks

To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what was the number of visitors to the United Kingdom through organised tours during 1992.

Mr. Key

Latest figures from the international passenger survey show that there were 1,202,000 visits to the United Kingdom by holidaymakers on marketed package holidays in the first half of 1992-54 per cent. more than in the first half of 1991. They represented 36 per cent. of overseas holiday visits and 15 per cent. of all overseas visitors.

Mr. Banks

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for that reply. Bearing in mind that millions of people from this country take package holidays and tours overseas, will he take steps to ensure that there is proper co-ordination in this country between hoteliers and those responsible for resorts and facilities so that we may attract visitors on package holidays? To that end, will he ensure that the British Tourist Authority has the marketing funds available, adjusted for the devaluation of the pound, so that the number of visitors to this country is maintained?

Mr. Key

Just as important as the British Tourist Authority doing its work abroad—which it does magnificently, whatever the vagaries of the pound—is the necessity to ensure that this country has the facilities to receive package holiday visitors. The organisations concerned are making rapid progress on co-ordination, and individual resorts and destinations, including my hon. Friend's constituency of Harrogate, are blazing a trail in that respect by their approach to joint marketing strategies.