Hugh Robertson has taken over the tourism portfolio in the UK coalition government, following the resignation of John Penrose during a cabinet reshuffle.
Robertson will head up a new sport, Olympic legacy and tourism brief within the department for culture, media and sport.
Former culture secretary Jeremy Hunt has been promoted to the department of health, being replaced by Maria Miller.
Ed Vaizey will continue as the minister responsible for culture, communications and creative industries including broadcasting.
The British Hospitality Association welcomed the appointment.
A statement read: “The BHA is pleased that tourism is now included in the brief of Hugh Robertson, now minister for sport, Olympic legacy and tourism, and we look forward to picking up with him on all the issues that we have been discussing with department.”
However, the Association of Independent Tour Operators took the opposite line, seeing the developments as a downgrading of tourism in government priorities.
“AITO is extremely disappointed to hear of John Penrose’s departure from the role of tourism minister,” AITO chairman Derek Moore said.
“We, in common with other travel and tourism organisations, have lobbied for many years for tourism (outbound as well as inbound) to be taken seriously by the government.
“To have tourism downgraded in this way after such a short period of time leaves us wondering if government really gives due recognition to the huge tax income it gains from corporation tax, VAT on tour operators’ margins, employment taxes and more via the travel industry.”