Hoseasons chief executive Richard Carrick has attacked the government for failing to take domestic tourism seriously.
Carrick hit out after the Gordon Brown appointed a new tourism minister in last week’s cabinet reshuffle – the eighth in 11 years – while the responsibility for tourism falls across nine different Whitehall departments.
He urged the government to do more to support the trade which employs 2.1 million people in the UK and earns £16 billion in export earnings.
Carrick said: “How can tourism be properly represented at Government level when its minister is so far down the food chain, and when it is looked after by a disjointed group of departments, all of which have different priorities?
“How can any minister do the job properly when they are in it for so little time?
“Successive governments have simply ignored how important tourism is to the UK economy, with the result that we are continually the Cinderella sector.
Barbara Follett has replaced Margaret Hodge as tourism minister following the reshuffle while tourism responsibilities are shared between eight other departments as well as the Department for Culture, Media and Sport which handles core responsibilities.