Tourism

Oral Answers to Questions — Trade and Industry – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 5th June 1985.

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Photo of Mr Harry Greenway Mr Harry Greenway , Ealing North 12:00 am, 5th June 1985

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement on the prospects for the tourism industry in 1985.

Photo of Mr Norman Lamont Mr Norman Lamont , Kingston upon Thames

In the first quarter of 1985 the number of visits to the United Kingdom by overseas residents was 10 per cent, higher than a year earlier, at a new record level for a first quarter. I am optimistic about the prospects for the rest of the year.

Photo of Mr Harry Greenway Mr Harry Greenway , Ealing North

Is it not true that a record number of jobs are being created in tourism, and that this service industry is one of the most promising areas for growth in employment? What was the value of tourism to Britain last year, and how many people were employed in the industry?

Photo of Mr Norman Lamont Mr Norman Lamont , Kingston upon Thames

Over 1 million people are currently employed in the industry. What my hon. Friend says about the prospects for growth in employment is correct. He may have noticed that we are now publishing, quarter by quarter, the growth in jobs in the tourist-related sectors. I hope that that will highlight the point that he is making.

Photo of Mr Eric Heffer Mr Eric Heffer , Liverpool, Walton

Does the Minister agree that while it is good to encourage tourism to underdeveloped areas such as Merseyside, it would be better if the Government concentrated on rebuilding industry in such areas in order to get the thousands and thousands of workers who are unemployed there back to work? Otherwise, we shall become a national museum.

Photo of Mr Norman Lamont Mr Norman Lamont , Kingston upon Thames

The hon. Gentleman has previously urged me to do more for tourism on Merseyside. We need to do things to help manufacturing and services, but we must face the fact that one of the best prospects for growth in employment lies in the services sector, and that includes tourism.

Photo of Mr Harry Ewing Mr Harry Ewing , Falkirk East

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker.

Photo of Mr Bernard Weatherill Mr Bernard Weatherill , Croydon North East

Does it arise out of questions?

Photo of Mr Harry Ewing Mr Harry Ewing , Falkirk East

Yes, Mr. Speaker. The House is aware that the Prime Minister, who has fortunately just joined us, has told the nation that she has changed her style.

However, we have never been warned that the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry has changed his style. Could you do something, Mr. Speaker, to protect the House from the shock of the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry being nice to people, because if that goes on my hon. Friend the Member for Bolsover (Mr. Skinner) will change his style as well?

Photo of Mr Bernard Weatherill Mr Bernard Weatherill , Croydon North East

Order. It is a consummation devoutly to be wished.

Photo of Dennis Skinner Dennis Skinner Member, Labour Party National Executive Committee

Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. I too have noticed that the Prime Minister now has more voices than Janet Brown. Today, at Question Time, we have heard from the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry and he has been nearly as quiet as a tailor's dummy, but, I assure you, Mr. Speaker, I ain't changing.