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Tourist Industry

Volume 19: debated on Monday 1 March 1982

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asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he is satisfied with the operation of the law relating to the regulation of the tourist industry ; and if he will make a statement.

The principal measure is the Development of Tourism Act 1969, the main provisions of which govern the activities of the British Tourist Authority and the English, Scottish and Wales tourist boards; in general I am satisfied with its operation.

Is the Minister satisfied that present legislation is effective enough for debacles such as the collapse of Laker Airways? Is the law adequate to reinforce the action being taken by organisations such as the Association of British Travel Agents, which I understand are doing their best in difficult circumstances? Perhaps they would like some legislative reinforcement from the Government.

I thank the hon. Gentleman for his words of praise about the action that is being taken. The Government passed legislation so that the air travel reserve fund can back up with the necessary funds any shortcomings that may result from the bond scheme, which is in operation in the first instance.

Does my hon. Friend appreciate that while hotels can be built with the help of grants in industrial development areas where they are not necessary, they cannot similarly be built in non-development areas, such as the South-East, where they are necessary? Will he consider the regulations in that respect?