I beg to move,
That this House
has considered domestic tourism.
I am delighted to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Robertson. I rise to speak as the chairman of the all-party parliamentary group for hospitality and tourism and the MP for St Austell and Newquay, which is the constituency that many recognise as being the most reliant on tourism and hospitality in the country. It is estimated that more than 50% of jobs in the town of Newquay are directly reliant on the tourism industry. In 2018, St Austell and Newquay had more overnight stays than any other constituency in the country, at just under 5 million.
Across Cornwall as a whole, tourism represents almost 25% of our economy. It is said that one in three households relies on tourism for at least part of its income. There is no doubt that nationally—domestic tourism contributes almost £20 billion to our economy—and in Cornwall, we are very much reliant on the tourism industry for a large part of our economy.
There is no doubt that the tourism sector has been one of the most adversely impacted over the past year as a result of the global pandemic that we are all grappling with. I thank all businesses in the sector that have worked incredibly hard over the past year to adapt, innovate, deal with the challenges they have been facing, and respond positively. Many have helped to support their communities in any number of ways, whether by providing housing for those who are homeless or by providing food for those who have needed it. Some hotels have provided accommodation for people being discharged from hospital. In any number of ways, the sector has helped our country get through the pandemic over the past 10 months or so. It is right that we recognise that and thank it for all it has done. The positive way that those businesses have responded is a great credit to them.