Tourism (Scotland)

Oral Answers to Questions — Trade – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 12th December 1977.

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Photo of Mr Douglas Crawford Mr Douglas Crawford , Perth and East Perthshire 12:00 am, 12th December 1977

asked the Secretary of State for Trade what are his Department's estimates of the contribution made by overseas visitors to Scotland to the United Kingdom balance of payments.

Photo of Michael Meacher Michael Meacher Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Trade)

I regret that estimates of this sort are not available. The Scottish Tourist Board has estimated that in 1976 expenditure by overseas visitors in Scotland amounted to £115 million.

Photo of Mr Douglas Crawford Mr Douglas Crawford , Perth and East Perthshire

Does the Minister agree that it is high time that he agreed with the Scottish Tourist Board Chief Executive, Philippe Taylor, to the effect that that board should be allowed to advertise the tourist potential of Scotland overseas? Does he not think it is a disgrace that the STB should be forbidden by statute from advertising overseas the tourist interests of the very country that it is supposed to represent?

Photo of Michael Meacher Michael Meacher Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Trade)

Under the provisions of the Scotland Bill now before the House, a Scottish Administration would be able to make funds available to the British Tourist Authority to promote overseas visitors going to Scotland. I should have thought that that met the hon. Gentleman's point.

Photo of Dennis Canavan Dennis Canavan , Stirlingshire West

As many visitors to Scotland come from England and Wales, does my hon. Friend agree that it would damage the Scottish economy if such people had to have a passport to visit a separate Scottish State, particularly if the hon. Member for Perth and East Perthshire (Mr. Crawford) were in charge of a special Scottish Treasury?