This idea is important because the UK needs to start seeing tourism and immigration as two separate classes of visitors to Britain's shores.
At the moment, Britain neither has a proper tourist visa system (what kind of tourist needs a six-month visa?) nor is it a member of Schengen – a system that even Switzerland joined recently.
Thanks to recent changes (2007) to British immigration (not tourist) law, we have to have my wife fingerprinted every time she wants to visit the country, no matter for how short a period of time. This involves a 500-mile round trip to Berlin.
I fail to see how this is increasing Britain's security, nor how it is helping the UK's flagging tourist industry.