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A ministerial group has been set up to consider future development of the tourism sector, including evidence from t...
A ministerial group has been set up to consider future development of the tourism sector, including evidence from the review of area tourist boards.

A cross-cutting group of ministers - chaired by deputy first minister Jim Wallace - will examine how the public and private sector can work together to achieve a long term vision for Scottish tourism.

The minister for tourism, culture and sport Frank McAveety said:

'Tourism is one of Scotland's most important business sectors, and it receives over £90m of public expenditure a year.

'Tourism is important to the economy as a whole and for it to be successful, it needs an efficient transport network, and its success is vital for a vibrant rural economy. That is why I will be discussing, with my ministerial colleagues, how support for the sector is co-ordinated across all portfolios.

'We will focus on how this money is spent, and the effectiveness of public sector support for tourism. Before we take final decisions on our area tourist board review, we will analyse how effectively the various agencies which support tourism in Scotland integrate their activities and their investment.

'The group of ministers on tourism hopes to report its findings to the cabinet in the autumn.'

Tourism is one of Scotland's biggest business sectors, worth more than £4bn a year to the economy, and employing 8% of the labour force.

The remit of the ad hoc group of ministers on tourism is to examine:

* the current state of the tourist industry

* overall public expenditure on tourism and related services, including that invested by VisitScotland, Scottish Enterprise, Historic Scotland, Scottish Natural Heritage, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, local authorities and the European Structural Fund

* the implications of these matters for the Area Tourist Board Review

* to report to cabinet by autumn 2003

The membership of the ad hoc group is:

Deputy First Minister and Minister for Enterpris e and Lifelong Learning (Chair)

Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport

Minister for Finance and Public Services

Minister for Environment and Rural Development

Minister for Transport

Deputy Minister for Enterprise and Lifelong

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