Tourism

Oral Answers to Questions — Culture, Media and Sport – in the House of Commons at 9:30 am on 26th February 2015.

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Photo of Mark Menzies Mark Menzies Conservative, Fylde 9:30 am, 26th February 2015

What steps he has taken to promote tourism and develop the tourism industry throughout England.

Photo of Helen Grant Helen Grant The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport

We have invested a total of £10 million in VisitEngland’s Holidays at Home are GREAT campaign, with the fourth campaign launching this spring. VisitEngland is also promoting and developing domestic tourism through its Growing Tourism Locally campaign.

Photo of Mark Menzies Mark Menzies Conservative, Fylde

My constituency enjoys a vibrant tourist economy that includes Royal Lytham & St Annes golf club, Lytham music festival and Ribby Hall village, to name but a few. What steps is the Minister taking to promote further tourism investment growth in the north-west?

Photo of Helen Grant Helen Grant The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport

The Government have recently announced £10 million of funding for tourism in the north of England, which is very good news for my hon. Friend’s constituency, the wider north-west and tourism across the north of England. We hope that the agreed project will commence this April.

Photo of John Bercow John Bercow Chair, Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, Chair, Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission, Speaker of the House of Commons, Speaker of the House of Commons

I do not know why that question was not grouped with Questions 12 and 13—these people are sometimes a law unto themselves—but if the Members who tabled those questions wish to come in, they are welcome to do so.

Photo of Mark Pawsey Mark Pawsey Conservative, Rugby

Today the civic buildings and street lamps across Rugby are festooned with dressing for the rugby world cup, which will be held later this year, celebrating Rugby’s status as the home of the game. During the tournament, visitors will be able to visit a fan zone and see where it all started back in 1823. Does the Minister agree that people coming to this, the third largest sporting event, provides a valuable economic opportunity not only to Rugby, but to venues across the UK?

Photo of Helen Grant Helen Grant The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport

Yes, I absolutely agree. These major sporting events are absolutely fabulous for the economy and for tourism, and of course they inspire people to participate in sport.

Photo of Oliver Colvile Oliver Colvile Conservative, Plymouth, Sutton and Devonport

May I thank my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for recently meeting a delegation from Plymouth to discuss Mayflower 400, which of course is about commemorating the founding of the American colonies and will hopefully boost our tourist economy? What support might the Department be able to give this really historic event down in Devon in 2020?

Photo of Helen Grant Helen Grant The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport

It will be a marvellous event, and I know that my hon. Friend has been fully involved in the programme, which will be fabulous for tourism. I am pleased to announce today additional funding of £35,000 for the city’s Mayflower museum, which will help to ensure a strong legacy for the celebrations. [Interruption.] We hope to be able to offer further support for the programme in due course.

Photo of Mark Williams Mark Williams Liberal Democrat, Ceredigion

What assessment has the Minister made of the much greater contribution tourism could make to the economy were VAT on tourism to be reduced, which is something that all but three countries in the EU have been able to deliver?

Photo of Helen Grant Helen Grant The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport

VAT is a matter that is constantly raised with me, but it is one for the Chancellor. He keeps all taxes under review, and I am sure that he will keep this one under review too. The hon. Gentleman might like to know that I am holding a round-table meeting on VAT with the industry in the next two weeks.

Photo of Bob Russell Bob Russell Liberal Democrat, Colchester

Mr Speaker, I was merely observing that the Mayflower commenced its journey to America from Harwich and merely stopped off at Plymouth en route.

Photo of Helen Grant Helen Grant The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport

That was a very interesting observation, and I am very happy to support the campaign.