Below is the text of Mr Major’s speech to the British Hospitality Industry, given at the Hyatt Carlton Tower Hotel in London on Wednesday 14th July 1993.
Since I became Prime Minister I've visited 33 different countries. I have become an expert -
Millions of people from those other countries do rather better -
Why do they do so?
We in this country often undersell ourselves. But in what we have to offer our visitors, few countries can compare. Typically we are often our worst enemy. Self-
Indeed, in a sense your industry is part of our heritage. Our historic inns and hotels are a living illustration of Britain past and present. From timbered coaching inns to grand country mansions, many are themselves tourist attractions. Many retain their ancient charms -
I am very conscious that tourism -
That was one of the reasons behind the creation of the Department of National Heritage -
The impact of the new Department is already being felt in Parliament. Only last week we had the fourth debate on tourism in the last six months. Two in the House of Commons and two in the House of Lords. I wonder when that last happened. I believe this demonstrates that we are putting tourism higher up the political agenda -
Having said that I am conscious that expenditure on heritage and related matters has often had an uphill battle against the demands of health, education and defence. One of the reasons I was so keen to establish the National Lottery was to generate additional resources for these areas. At least four out of the five areas the Lottery will support -
The obligation on the Government to support the tourist industry does not stop at the Department of National Heritage. Across many Government Departments there is a responsibility to ensure that the framework is right to allow the industry to thrive.
Over the last year or so the economic climate has been difficult -
The effects of the recession on our economy, cut into the domestic market. People spent less on tourist-
But today all the indications are that we are witnessing a recovery. The exchange rate is encouraging overseas visitors to return. Falling interest rates and falling unemployment mean more money once more in the pockets of British people to pass through the tills of your industry.
The recovery is in its infancy, but it is growing daily. Yesterday we announced the largest increase in manufacturing output for over four years. Today we have learned that headline inflation fell to 1.2%, the lowest level for thirty years. The figures taken together show that we are in sight of our long term goal: growth without inflation. Evidence in your own industry is building up -
There is probably no area where the Government has more ability to damage the business climate than in the field of regulation. I don't suggest that all regulation is bad -
Many of you will be aware of the Task Forces set up by the Department of Trade and Industry to identify the necessary deregulation. Each Department has a Minister charged with the task of ensuring we succeed -
The deregulation initiative is part of our strategy to improve the efficiency of industry. In the public sector, a key part in our strategy for improved efficiency is the principle of market testing and contacting out. Here, too, your industry has a key role to play. In vast areas of the public sector catering-
I believe that we are fortunate in having one of the most successful hospitality industries in the world. Excellence must continue to be our watchword. The natural attractions of the UK will continue to bring people here in their millions. It is the warmth of the welcome from your members which will keep them here longer and encourage them to return -