Tourism

Oral Answers to Questions — Wales – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 21st March 2007.

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Photo of Siân James Siân James Labour, Swansea East 11:30 am, 21st March 2007

What discussions he has had with the Welsh Assembly Government on promoting tourism transport links in south Wales.

Photo of Nick Ainger Nick Ainger Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Wales Office

My right hon. Friend and I have regular discussions with Assembly Government colleagues about a range of matters. Encouraging visitors to use sustainable forms of transport is a key aim of the Assembly Government's tourism and transport strategies.

Photo of Siân James Siân James Labour, Swansea East

I thank my hon. Friend for that answer —[ Interruption. ]

Photo of Siân James Siân James Labour, Swansea East

When my hon. Friend next meets colleagues in the Assembly, could he make representations on the Swansea-Cork ferry? As he will be aware, it has recently been reintroduced as a lorry service, but given its role in supporting tourism in the city, the passenger ferry should be reintroduced as soon as possible.

Photo of Nick Ainger Nick Ainger Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Wales Office

I will meet Andrew Davies, the Minister with responsibility for such matters, next Monday. My hon. Friend is right: tourists spend more than £8 million a day on trips to Wales, and about 100,000 people in Wales—around 9 per cent. of the work force—are employed in tourism. The reintroduction of the new freight-only ferry is welcome, but I understand that Swansea Cork Ferries intends to resume a full passenger service when it has purchased a new vessel. However, I shall discuss those matters with Andrew Davies next week.