§ Mr. Leighton
asked the Secretary of State for Trade what was the amount spent by central Government under the hotel development incentive scheme; what proportion of this went to the major hotel chains; and what was the return to the public at large from this expenditure.
§ Mr. Tebbit
£44 million has been spent on grants under the hotel development incentive scheme by central Government in England. Administration of the scheme in Scotland and in Wales is the responsibility of the respective Secretaries of 585W State. Information is not readily available on the proportion which went to major hotel chains; but it seems likely that, as the amount of grant was related to the number of bedrooms provided, and three-quarters of grants were for £10,000 or less the scheme benefited mainly smaller hotels.
It is not possible to say to what extent this brought about provision which would not otherwise have been made, but, had the 50,000 additional bedrooms which resulted from the scheme in England not been available, it is doubtful if the rapid growth in overseas visitors of the past few years could have been accommodated, to the detriment of our foreign exchange earnings.