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Tourism - 'Envy of other countries'

The relevance of hospitality and tourism qualifications as the credit crunch bites will be assessed by a Scottish Government task group.

The "changing needs of the industry in these tough economic times" need to be considered, according to the Government.

The remit will be to:

- identify what hospitality and tourism qualifications are available and how to make them more relevant;

- establish how many and what type of hotel school developments are under consideration, and advise on how these can support the industry's needs;

- summarise, for the industry, the roles of the public bodies in relation to qualifications development, validation and funding.

Maureen Watt, Schools and Skills Minister, said the Government was committed to ensuring the right conditions existed for tourism to flourish in tough economic times.

Jim Mather, Enterprise, Energy and Tourism Minister, said the group would ensure rising standards and "a highly responsive Scottish tourism industry which will be the envy of countries across the world".

The group will include representatives from the industry, national education and skills bodies, colleges and universities.

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