HC Deb 13 May 2002 vol 385 c412W
23. Ross Cranston

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what measures she is taking to promote tourism in the west midlands region. [53984]

Dr. Howells

My Department is currently considering options on how to provide stronger co-ordination of the promotion and marketing of England, including a strong regional dimension and we hope to announce our plans shortly.

Tourism in the west midlands region has recently benefited from £2 million funding from Advantage West Midlands (AWM) regional development agency (RDA). £1.1 million was spent on a recent national marketing campaign "Head to the Heart", promoted by the Heart of England Tourist Board (HETB), which principle aim is to attract more visitors to the region.

30. Tony Baldry

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport when she last met representatives from the English Tourism Council to discuss tourism in the south-east. [53991]

Dr. Howells

I have been in close contact with the chairman of the English Tourism Council about the proposed merger between the south east and southern tourist boards. They also hold regular meetings to discuss issues of national and regional significance, the most recent being on 29 April. The Minister also met Joan Patten, chair of the south east tourist board, on 11 April.

Brian Cotter

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what proportion of Government funding provided to each region is for tourism marketing. [56023]

Dr. Howells

Over half of the £3.8 million obtained last year from the reserve to assist the domestic recovery of tourism from foot and mouth disease was passed via the English Tourism Council (ETC) to the 10 regional tourist boards (RTBs). Much of that money was used for promotional and PR activities.

Other central Government funding provided to the RTBs via the ETC is for the delivery of the national tourism strategy at regional level—that does not include money for domestic marketing. The RTBs are mainly private companies and use some of their membership fee and commercial income for regional marketing initiatives. In some regions, the Regional Development Agencies have also supported tourism marketing with Government funds and a substantial part of over £90 million spent by local authorities on tourism is also used for promotional activities.

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