The Labour Party has ruled out a dedicated travel and
tourism minister ahead of next week’s general election,
despite admitting the sector is full of “fantastic
opportunities”.

Minister for sport and tourism Richard Caborn has said there is
no hope for a dedicated travel and tourism minister for
Labour’s anticipated third term – even if London is
successful in hosting the 2012 Olympics.

“There’s not a minister for every sector,” he said. “Do
you see an engineering or manufacturing minister? If you have a
minister for every sector there will be 80-odd ministers.”

But UKinbound chief executive Stephen Dowd said he believed
Caborn couldn’t divide his time between sport and travel.
“Tourism deserves a full-time minister. There are more people
working in tourism than agriculture and it makes 10 times more
money, yet no-one would say the UK doesn’t need an
agricultural minister,” said Dowd.

The Liberal Democrats has also ruled out the introduction of a
dedicated tourism minister if it comes to power.

But shadow tourism minister Malcolm Moss has vowed a
Conservative administration would dramatically raise the profile of
travel and tourism in Whitehall with a dedicated minister. “The
minister of tourism should have a huge profile.”