He continued: 'Nobody in the industry wanted the English Tourist Board abolished, but it is now to be replaced by a council. Chris Smith is determined to impose a political agenda to abolish England in favour of the regions. To this government, regionalisation is more important than reason.
'At a time when Wales and Scotland are stepping up their marketing of tourism, the new English body will have no remit to market England. This is unwanted, unwise and damaging to one of our most important industries.
'Meanwhile, the Conservatives have launched a tourism policy forum, which will meet regularly to take evidence from leading figures in the industry and identify their real needs. The recent DCMS Tourism Strategy merely displayed the government's ignorance of what matters to this sector.'
Per capita spend on tourism in the UK: