§ 13. Mr. Gordon Marsden (Blackpool, South)
What discussions he has had with the English Tourism Council about promoting and widening access to holidays for people with disabilities. 
§ The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (Mr. Chris Smith)
Widening access to tourism for everyone, including people with disabilities, is a key commitment for the English Tourism Council. I am pleased to note that, this summer, the ETC is publishing "Accessible Britain 2000", a complete list of accommodation awarded a category of accessibility by the tourist boards or Holiday Care under the national accessibility scheme.
§ Mr. Marsden
I thank my right hon. Friend for his answer. It is important, given the large number of people who cannot currently take a holiday, many of whom are disabled. Does he, like me, welcome the work done by other organisations such as the Association of British Travel Agents in promoting awareness, and in particular the scheme that it is pursuing with the Royal National Institute for the Blind? Does he agree that many small hoteliers in seaside towns still need advice and assistance 632 from the ETC in making their establishments accessible, and will he consider the possibility of using the new opportunities fund for that purpose?
§ Mr. Smith
I certainly endorse what my hon. Friend says about the importance of encouraging and widening accessibility for people with disabilities. It is a notable fact that about 40 per cent. of the population do not take a holiday. I suspect that a substantial proportion of those do not do so because of difficulties of physical access. We need to continue to encourage the tourism industry to seek to overcome that. One of the features of the industry is that it is made up of many very small enterprises. We need to encourage and enable them to improve accessibility. The ETC will certainly seek to do that.