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Tourism Industry

Volume 717: debated on Wednesday 6 July 2022

10. What steps he is taking with Cabinet colleagues to help support the tourist industry in Wales. (900876)

The UK Government are Wales tourism’s biggest fan, and the fact we stepped up with financial help during the pandemic and saved thousands of jobs is testament to that.

Tourism is crucial to Clwyd South, which attracts visitors from all across the world for events such as the Llangollen international musical eisteddfod, which is taking place this week. Will my right hon. Friend join me in condemning the Welsh Labour Government’s plans to introduce a tourism tax, which will do great damage to the tourism industry across the whole of Wales?

I think I can do even better than my hon. Friend requests me to by simply quoting the words of the chief executive of UKHospitality, Kate Nicholls, who said: “The tourism tax is ill thought through and proposed without any impact assessment. Welsh Government does not know why it is needed, what its effect will be on visitors and what damage it will do to businesses and jobs in a sector making up a quarter of the Welsh economy. It is unnecessary, unhelpful and ill considered.” If the House does not believe it from me, it should believe it from the experts in this particular field.

On tourism in Wales, when a previous Tory leader resigned, he not only visited Wales but bought a home in Wales. Can I suggest that one way the Secretary of State for Wales could help tourism in Wales is by encouraging the current Tory leader to follow suit, resign and buy a home, although perhaps not in Wales—perhaps somewhere else?

Perhaps I can encourage the hon. Gentleman to persuade his colleague in Cardiff, the First Minister, to drop his ridiculous plans for a tourism tax and for various other means of punishing successful businesses in Wales. If he did that, perhaps we could create some lasting jobs in Wales rather than simply listening to his political protestations.

Before we come to Prime Minister’s questions, I point out that a British Sign Language interpretation of proceedings is available to watch on