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Tourism Forum

Baroness Anelay of St. Johns asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The Tourism Forum will be convened by the English Tourism Council and its discussions will feed into the Tourism Summit. Its recommendations will be advisory and will be taken into account by the ETC in pursuing actions under the tourism strategy, Tomorrow's Tourism, and in advising government on tourism matters.

Tourism and Disabled People

Baroness Anelay of St. Johns asked Her Majesty's Government:

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Lord McIntosh of Haringey: It is now a legal requirement to make reasonable adjustments for the access of disabled people to hotels and restaurants. Guidance on what are reasonable adjustments has been issued. It is in the commercial interests of the industry not only to meet its legal obligations but to go further to make its premises open and welcoming to as wide a customer base as possible. That is why we are so keen to see organisations like the Tourism For All Consortium--which brings together different parts of the industry, public bodies, and consumer groups--working to produce best practice guidance on providing access for disabled people to tourism. We would expect the consortium to consult widely amongst the industry and other relevant bodies, including the Department for Education and Employment, whilst drawing up the guidance. Once suitable guidance has been produced, Ministers would seek to actively promote it.

Internet Travel Bookings

Baroness Anelay of St. Johns asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What estimate they have made of the impact of on-line Internet travel bookings on the loss of business suffered by high street travel agencies in the United Kingdom for the years 1997-98 and 1998-99.[HL92]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: We have not made an estimate of this kind, although it is clearly important for the UK travel industry to embrace new technologies and new services if it is to compete successfully for visitors.

Rail Freight Regulation

The Earl of Courtown asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they have any proposals to bring rail freight within the scope of the Rail Regulator.[HL119]

The Minister of State, Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (Lord Macdonald of Tradeston): Under the Railways Act 1993 the Rail Regulator has a duty to promote the use and development of the railway network for carriage of passengers and freight.

The Rail Regulator's statutory functions include the approval of agreements for access to track and rail facilities by operators of railway assets and the issue, modification and enforcement of licences to operate trains, network and light maintenance depots. These functions extend to the operators of freight services.

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Electricity from Renewables: Minister's Speech

Lord Geddes asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether Lord Sainsbury of Turville intends to publish the contents of the speech he was to have made during the debate on Electricity from Renewables on 5 November.[HL268]

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The Minister for Science, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Sainsbury of Turville): I have responded in writing to the points raised by all Peers who spoke during the debate and have sent each of them a copy of the text of the speech that I had intended to make.

Copies of my speech have been placed in the Library of the House, and Printed Paper Office.

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