The Conservatives have hit out at Culture Secretary Andy Burnham for being "uninterested" in tourism.
The accusation followed Burnham's appearance in front of the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, during which he suggested that visa charges have not had an impact on tourism, with visitor numbers increasing.
In fact, the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show that visits by foreign tourists for the 12 months to May, actually fell by 700,000 compared to the previous year.
Shadow Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: "To dismiss the problems that the tourism industry faces is unbelievable.
"Andy Burnham has told us that visitor numbers were up and that visa charges have had no impact. He clearly hasn't been giving tourism the time and consideration it deserves.
"It is very worrying for the tourism industry to have a Secretary of State who appears so uninterested," he added.
By Daniel Thomas
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