Guyana examines regional ‘fast ferry’ service
Guyana is examining the possibilities of introducing a regional ‘fast ferry’ service to Guyana that would greatly reduce the dependency on air transport.
Already, a consultancy firm, Footprints Advisors, has been hired by CARICOM to conduct a feasibility study which is expected to be completed this month.
Neighbouring Trinidad and Tobago has already introduced the service, according to Private Sector Commission (PSC) in its recent newsletter.
In April, members of the PSC met with the CEO and representative from Footprints Advisors and one representative from John Fernandes Ltd. to discuss the possibility of having a fast ferry service coming to Guyana.
Chief Executive Officer of Footprints Advisors, Jan Sierhuis, noted that the service would model one that currently operates within Trinidad and Tobago and carries 900 passengers and 180 vehicles as well as cargo.
According to Sierhuis, the Trinidad and Tobago ferry has proven to be quite lucrative with stakeholders showing a clear preference over air travel.
Marketing Director of John Fernandes, Bernie Fernandes, during the meeting, had noted that if Guyana is to buy into the fast ferry service, a ferry terminal would be needed where the vessel would on-load and off-load passengers, cars and cargo.
The main destinations would be Barbados and Trinidad, with the latter being the hub. The main issues that would have to be addressed for the ferry service in Guyana would be those concerning customs, immigration and security.
The final plan, prepared by Sierhuis, is expected to be completed by June, and will be reviewed by CARICOM’s COTED, then presented to the respective governments.
PSC, in its newsletter, said it is in full approval of this initiative.
It has also been hailed as a good thing as well as tourism in Guyana.