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Leisure And Tourism Industries

Volume 408: debated on Tuesday 1 July 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what recent discussions he has had with the First Secretary of the National Assembly for Wales on the future of the leisure and tourism industries in Wales. [121939]

I have regular bi-lateral meetings with the First Minister of the National Assembly for Wales, and discuss a wide range of issues, including the leisure and tourism industries.There are encouraging signs for the future of leisure and tourism in Wales. I welcome the recent announcement that 103 beaches throughout Wales have won Seaside Awards in 2003, more than the English Riviera, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Channel Islands put together.I was also encouraged by the results of research undertaken on behalf of the Wales Tourist Board (WTB) following the Easter weekend which revealed that 78 per cent. of accommodation providers were full over the Easter weekend.This contributes to a very positive outlook, and builds upon the WTB's largest marketing initiative to date, the £10 million three-year UK based Big Country campaign and the £5 million the WTB have committed to their first ever overseas campaigns in key markets. The campaigns were targeted to make sure that last summer Welsh tourism was a success and to build a solid foundation for the future.