HC Deb 12 March 1998 vol 308 cc292-3W
Mr. Spring

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on the percentage of(a) domestic holiday makers and (b) overseas visitors to the United Kingdom who spend their holiday in Scotland. [33817]

Mr. Wilson

In 1996, the latest year for which figures are available, 9.9% of domestic holiday trips were made to Scotland, while 10.4% of overseas holiday trips to the UK included Scotland.

Mr. Spring

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what tourism initiatives he is undertaking in respect of(a) accommodation schemes and quality standards, (b) promoting Scotland, (c) trade communication, (d) market and product intelligence and research, (e) training and (f) market access and information. [33813]

Mr. Wilson

A new quality assurance scheme for accommodation providers and for visitor attractions has been introduced by the Scottish Tourist Board.

Promotional activity for tourism in Scotland will benefit from the Government's decision to allocate £19.3 million to the Scottish Tourist Board in 1998–99, an increase of £1 million over the planned provision by the previous Administration.

The Scottish Tourist Board, with assistance from the Department of Trade and Industry sector challenge fund, is implementing an information technology strategy for the industry. This will enable tourists to access information and make bookings more easily. Trade communication has benefited from the work of the Scottish Tourism Forum, an industry representative body established by The Scottish Office.

I announced in October 1997 the establishment of a group to consider and advise on how the tourism industry in Scotland can maximise its performance as we enter the new Millennium. The group will be chaired by Lord Gordon of Strathblane, the new Chairman of the Scottish Tourist Board, and will report to the Scottish Tourism Co-ordinating Group, which I chair.

I am announcing later this month further action designed to promote tourism training and tourism as a career.

Further details about these and other initiatives are set out in the "Scottish Tourism Strategic Plan Progress Report 1998", which I will publish next week. I shall ensure that the hon. Member receives a copy, and that copies are placed in the Libraries of both Houses of Parliament.