HC Deb 13 February 1995 vol 254 cc652-3
10. Mr. Simon Coombs

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how much was spent by the Wales tourist board last year under section 4 of the Promotion of Tourism Act 1969; and what is his assessment of the return on this outlay.

Mr. Gwilym Jones

The payments made in 1993–94 were just under £4.1 million. During the year £5.1 million of assistance was approved for new projects by the Wales tourist board to secure £30.6 million of investment and create or safeguard 525 jobs.

Mr. Coombs

My hon. Friend is obviously well aware of the significance of the multiplier effect, which turns a relatively small volume of investment into a substantial return to the public purse. In view of that, does he have any plans for boosting the tourism potential of Cardiff following the construction of many the projects related to the Cardiff bay barrage?

Mr. Jones

I am pleased to acknowledge my agreement with my hon. Friend about the relevance of the multiplier factor, which is important to tourism and to the regeneration of south Cardiff, which is estimated to have achieved the creation of more than 20,000 jobs. I am sure that my hon. Friend joins me in condemning the opposition to that by Opposition Front-Bench spokesmen, who would much rather have the money spent on a Welsh Assembly.

Mr. Flynn

How does the Minister react to the news today that a publication by the Wales tourist board eliminates many of the main tourist attractions in Wales, including Caerleon in my constituency—one of the top half-dozen tourist attractions? In Caerleon there are Roman baths and barracks. Does the Minister agree about the importance of teaching our children about the time when Europe was united, with a common currency, and how it then went back into a dark age of barbarism when the Euro-sceptics came along with personalities and instincts not dissimilar from those of the Secretary of State?

Mr. Jones

The hon. Gentleman has got his allusions very wrong—from where I sit, all the barbarians are facing me. At the same time, I readily appreciate the importance of promoting all parts of Wales. That is what I am sure the Wales tourist board is seeking to do.