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Tourism (Northern Ireland)

Volume 402: debated on Friday 4 April 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will make a statement on the reasons for the Northern Ireland Tourist Board not being included in VisitBritain. [106898]

[holding answer 3 April 2003]: VisitBritain is the name which the British Tourist Authority will use in future. The British Tourist Authority was set up by the Development of Tourism Act 1969, and it is this Act which is clear that duty to promote Britain abroad covers Scotland, Wales and England, but not Northern Ireland. I am happy to say, however, that the excellent formal and informal co-operation between VisitBritain and the Northern Ireland Tourist Board will continue in future, and a revised and strengthened memorandum of understanding between the two is in the final stages of preparation. Although the 1969 Act does not provide for the Chair of the Northern Ireland Tourist Board to be a member of the VisitBritain Board, the Chairman has accepted an invitation to have observer status on the Board.