Tourism Industry (Eastbourne)

Oral Answers to Questions — Culture, Media and Sport – in the House of Commons at 2:30 pm on 29th November 2010.

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Photo of Stephen Lloyd Stephen Lloyd Liberal Democrat, Eastbourne 2:30 pm, 29th November 2010

What support his Department provides for the tourism industry in Eastbourne.

Photo of John Penrose John Penrose Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)

The Government aim to attract new tourist visitors from around the world through the activities of VisitBritain and to promote local destinations within the UK through the activities of VisitEngland. I noted that Eastbourne featured as destination of the month according to VisitEngland's June newsletter; the heading was "Visit England's sunniest resort".

Photo of Stephen Lloyd Stephen Lloyd Liberal Democrat, Eastbourne

The Minister mentioned that Eastbourne is famed for its record amount of sunshine. Is he aware that it was also ranked No. 1 in a survey of the friendliest holiday towns in the UK? Will he join me in praising those who work in Eastbourne's hospitality industry, and will he and his ministerial colleagues accept my invitation to take their next summer holiday in the sunniest town in Britain?

Photo of John Penrose John Penrose Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)

I would be delighted to spend my holiday in Eastbourne were it not for the fact that I represent Weston-super-Mare, which I hope the hon. Gentleman will accept is an equally wonderful seaside resort. I do, however, join him in congratulating the welcomers in Eastbourne and other parts of the visitor economy, because the welcome accorded to visitors is a tremendously important part of the value that any tourist perceives when they visit any part of the UK.

Photo of John Whittingdale John Whittingdale Chair, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, Vice-Chair, Conservative 1922 Committee

Does the Minister accept that there is now a lot of evidence to suggest that tourism in Eastbourne and in other parts of the country would receive a substantial boost if we moved to daylight saving? Will he therefore consider giving whatever fair wind he can to the Daylight Saving Bill promoted by my hon. Friend Rebecca Harris, which is to be debated in this House on Friday?

Photo of John Penrose John Penrose Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)

I am on the record from previous oral questions as saying that the potential benefits to the tourism industry are extremely well documented and are widely held to be substantial. I am sure that my hon. Friend will also accept that there are other factors to consider, notably the concerns of many people in northern Scotland and Northern Ireland about the effect on other parts of the economy. Therefore, we want to try to ensure that we are not leaving any part of the UK behind or imposing a decision without consent. I suspect that, with any luck, that will be part of the debate on Friday.