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Volume 496: debated on Monday 20 July 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what steps he is taking to encourage people to take a greater proportion of their holidays in the UK. (287839)

In partnership with other Government Departments, the tourism industry and the wider public sector, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has a clear and coherent policy framework for industry growth. This includes branding and marketing improvement led by VisitBritain; the national tourism skills strategy; and work across Britain on driving up product quality through the accommodation grading schemes.

Central Government are committed to providing £130 million between 2008 and 2012 for marketing Britain overseas and England to the British. In addition, between £3.3 million and £3.5 million is provided annually to the regional development agencies for tourism support. In addition to this, Government have committed £350 million to helping small businesses get the training they need to get through the economic downturn. This investment is across the economy but we encourage small and medium-sized enterprises in the tourism industry to take full advantage of it.

Specifically, in recent months VisitBritain has emphasised its “Value Britain” message, which aims to impress on potential overseas visitors the wide range of affordable accommodation, transport and attractions available in Britain. VisitEngland has also launched its “Enjoy Every Minute, Enjoy England” campaign, designed to inspire and stimulate consumers to take day visits, short breaks and holidays in England this year based on the range of experiences, fantastic quality and value on offer.