Tourism matters across the EU are likely to fall under European Commission control following a vote by MEPs in Strasbourg today.

A Commission report called 'Working together for the future of European tourism' sought to incorporate tourism issues into EU treaties, giving the European Commission regulatory and legislative powers on tourism issues. The plan was approved by a majority of MEPs.

Conservative MEPs voted against the report. The Rt. Sir Robert Atkins MEP, for the North West of England, said after the vote in Strasbourg: "Following the effects of Foot and Mouth and September 11, the British tourism industry is just starting to bounce back. The last thing it needs is a red tape kiss of death from the EU.

Where the EU should have a role is in facilitating a process for the various branches of the tourist industry to get together and work together. It is up to the tourist industry to set its own benchmarks and rules to decide what is best for its future competitiveness.

Letting the EU loose on such an important industry at such a fragile time in its recovery would be a big mistake."

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