HC Deb 24 June 1986 vol 100 cc100-4W
26. Mr. Gregory

asked the Paymaster General what progress has been made in implementing the recommendations contained in "Pleasure, Leisure—and Jobs; The Business of Tourism."

Mr. Trippier

I am pleased to report that good progress has been made in the majority of the action points listed in "Pleasure, Leisure and Jobs" and that work is continuing on the outstanding recommendations. Particular achievements to date include the introduction of the new voluntary hotel classification scheme throughout Great Britain, the opening last month of the new British travel centre in Lower Regent street, the introduction throughout England of the new system of white on brown road signs for tourist attractions and the publication of the consultative document on tourist coaches in London including proposals for additional coach parking facilities for summer 1986. We have also taken steps to improve the co-ordination of Government policies affecting tourism by instituting regular meetings of Ministers under the chairmanship of my right hon. And noble Friend and by setting up new arrangements for co-ordination at regional level.

46. Mr. Gerald Bowden

asked the Paymaster General how many people work, directly or indirectly, in the tourist industry; and how this compares with 1979.

Mr. Lang

It is estimated that about 1.1 million jobs were supported directly or indirectly by tourism spending in 1985. A comparable figure for 1979 is not available. However, separate information on the number of employees in those sectors which most directly serve tourists (hotels and catering, and leisure services) showed an increase of just over 100,000 to around 1.3 million between June 1979 and June 1985.

54. Mr. David Atkinson

asked the Paymaster General if he will estimate the proportion of those working in the Southern Tourist Board region whose jobs depend directly or indirectly on tourism.

Mr. Trippier

Estimates covering jobs depending both directly and indirectly on tourism in particular areas are not available. However, the following table shows the available information on the number of employees in the main tourism-related industries from the 1981 census of employment. Comparable details for 1984 will be available later this year.

Number of employees in employment in Hampshire, Isle of Wight and part of Dorset* in September 1981
All industries and services 743,560
Main tourism-related sectors:
Hotels and catering (excluding canteens and messes)† 38,128
Libraries, museums, art galleries, etc, and sport and other recreational services‡ 10,443
* Bournemouth, Christchurch, North Dorset, Poole, Purbeck and Wimbourne.
† Groups 661, 662, 663, 665 and 667 of Standard Industrial Classification 1980.
‡ Groups 977 and 979 of Standard Industrial Classification 1980.

68. Mr. Sheerman

asked the Paymaster General what further plans he has to aid the British tourist industry.

Mr. Trippier

The Government have already taken a number of measures to aid the tourism industry this year, including an additional £6 million to the British Tourist Authority and English Tourist Board for promotion of tourism in regions where unemployment is high and there is potential for development. We shall continue to take appropriate measures to encourage the industry's development within available resources; but the prime responsibility for investment in the industry must rest with the private sector.

79. Mr. Terlezki

asked the Paymaster General what new overseas marketing initiatives have been proposed by the British Tourist Authority.

Mr. Trippier

For 1986–87 the BTA has been set the objectives of encouraging overseas visitors to regions with above average unemployment and the potential to attract additional tourism traffic, and extending the tourism season. Its new marketing campaigns are intended to meet these objectives, and will focus on the promotion of senior citizen, youth travel and special interest markets, together with the business and conference sector.

85. Mr. Lofthouse

asked the Paymaster General if he will make a statement on the net contribution of the tourist industry to the creation of jobs.

Mr. Trippier

The growth in the number and spending of tourists has been a vital contribution to the growth of employment in recent years. It is estimated that the spending of tourists supports about 1.1 million jobs, directly in hotels, restaurants, transport, tourist attractions, and so on, and indirectly in supplying industries. Also, in the two years to June 1985, the official estimates of the numbers of employees showed a growth of 106,000 in the sectors most heavily dependent on tourism— hotels and catering trades, and leisure and recreational services—and self-employment in hotels and catering grew by around 28,000 over the same period.

87. Mr. Coombs

asked the Paymaster-General by how much he expects employment in the tourism industry to grow in 1986–87.

Mr. Lang

Future employment levels depend on many factors, some of which are difficult to predict. In recent years there has been a substantial growth in the number of employees in those industries which most directly serve tourists (up by over 100,000 in the hotel, catering and leisure and recreational services sectors between June 1983 and June 1985) at a time when the growth of tourists' spending rose in real terms by around 6 per cent.

If tourists' spending continues to grow at a similar rate as in the recent past. I would expect to see further significant growth in employment in the sectors serving tourists.