To ask the Secretary of State for the Employment if he will make a statement on the number of American tourists who visited the United Kingdom in 1987.
Figures for the full year are not yet available, but in the first 11 months of 1987, 3,380,000 residents from North America visited the United Kingdom. This compares with 2,672,000 in the same period of 1986 and 3,634,000 in 1985.
Does my hon. Friend agree that the increase in American tourists indicates that the downturn in the value of the dollar has had little effect on the numbers visiting this country and that even more people are likely to come this year? Will he encourage American tourists by telling them that the world does not end at Watford and that there are parts of Lancashire well worth visiting, not least Hyndburn and Pendle?
As a fellow Lancastrian, may I wish my hon. Friend a reet good happy birthday? I am working closely with the North-West tourist board and Lancashire county council to encourage more tourism to Lancashire. With regard to Hyndburn and Pendle, I refer tourists to an excellent article which appeared in last month's Lancashire Life.