HC Deb 08 January 2002 vol 377 cc548-9W
Mr. Gordon Marsden

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) what assessment she has made of the cost of implementing the English Tourism Council's "Sea Changes" document; [24144]

(2) what funding the English Tourism Council has allocated to implementation of its "Sea Changes" document; [24149]

(3) what progress has been made in establishing a Government unit to co-ordinate the case for resorts within Government; [24148]

(4) if she will list her Department's priorities for action on the implementation of the English Tourism Council's "Sea Changes" document. [24143]

Dr. Howells

[holding answer 19 December 2001]The Government have welcomed the publication of "Sea Changes" and we are working with the English Tourism Council (ETC) to take it forward. The ETC is consulting closely with the British Resorts Association and relevant local authority tourism officers.

The ETC does not have a specific budget for implementing the report since its role is to inform and help develop the strategies of public agencies and the private sector, predominantly at local and regional level. The Government have not set out specific priorities for action in relation to the report and have not made any assessment of the potential cost of implementation. We are awaiting a preparatory assessment from the ETC and will then be in a better position to consider how best an impact can be made.

We do not propose to establish a separate unit toco-ordinate the case for resorts within Government. This is already the responsibility of my Department and we have raised the profile of resort regeneration in discussions both at national level at the March 2001 inter-Ministerial Tourism Summit, shortly after "Sea Changes" was published, and in ministerial meetings with Regional Development Agency (RDA) chairmen since then. We have also ensured that the new draft corporate planning guidance for RDAs asks them to work with regional and local partners on sustainable tourism strategies which should include the promotion of coastal resort regeneration.