Jul 14, 2008 News
The Ministry of Tourism, Industry and Commerce is currently looking into the issues of what are touted as an unconscionable component of travelling from North America to Guyana, and its impact on the imminent hosting of the Caribbean Festival of Arts (Carifesta) X.
This was announced by Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr Roger Luncheon, during his most recent press briefing held last week.
According to Luncheon, the component being addressed was the fact that the fare from Trinidad to Guyana was almost sixty per cent of the ticket cost of travelling from North America to Guyana.
“Not only flights by Delta Airlines, but Caribbean Airlines as well.”
He noted that the increased costs of inputs such as fuel and labour cannot be dismissed, but the Trinidad to Guyana component raises issues and, “begs questions as to how could it be properly accounted for.”
According to Luncheon, there should be reasonable levels of increases, but the current prices have gone beyond what is reasonable.
He added that the impact on Carifesta X is being studied, but he expressed confidence in efforts to have on schedule charter service for that period.
This, he said, was one of the main approaches to ensure that prices for tickets do not undermine the universal participation expected.
Attracting international participation from persons in the Diaspora as well as thousands of tourists has been a premier role of the organizers, and this may be affected by the increased fares.
Carifesta X is scheduled to be hosted in Guyana in August, and the ministry is tasked with the responsibility of staging the event. Collaboration has already begun with the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) to heighten awareness in the region to ensure a successful staging of the event in Guyana.
There have also been several promotional Carifesta teasers in North America to attract visitors.
According to Culture Minister Dr Frank Anthony, the event is aimed at promoting the festival culture of the Caribbean, and can be used to promote Guyana as a tourism destination.
Dr Anthony related that his ministry is in collaboration with the Tourism Ministry and several others to ensure a successful staging of the event.
“It will be 10 days of cultural things happening, inclusive of super concerts,” said Dr Anthony.
Most of the activities, according to Dr Anthony, will be centred in Region Four, given that a lot of infrastructure is already in place.
Several venues have been identified for CARIFESTA activities, including the Umana Yana, the National Cultural Centre, the Theatre Guild, the National Conference Centre, the National Park, the National Exhibition Site, the Guyana National Stadium at Providence, the various museums, the National Library, Castellani House, the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall, the National Gymnasium, the University of Guyana, the Parade Ground, the Botanical Gardens, and the Seawall Band Stand, among others.
Among the activities that can be expected during CARIFESTA X are: Performing Arts — music, dance and drama; Literary Arts — book fair, poetry and prose; Visual Arts — film festival, art exhibition; Culinary Arts; Philatelic Arts; Festival Arts – country-specific celebrations; symposia on various aspects of culture and art; super concerts; community festivals; fashion focus; Grand Cultural Market and Trade Fair; Activities of the Indigenous Peoples; CARIFESTA Calypso and Chutney Competition; Steel Pan Music as well as Children/Youth Forum.
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