Feb 22, 2009 News
Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, Manniram Prashad, has said that despite many challenges last year there were many accomplishments.
He said that this year his Ministry will further advance the work it has been doing in marketing Guyana.
According to him, 2008 saw greater emphasis being placed on developing strategies to effectively market Guyana as a destination of choice, to develop the tourism product, and to prepare the nation for tourism.
“Last year presented many challenges, such as high fuel prices, worldwide recession, rising food prices, cutbacks in airline seats particularly to the Caribbean, and numerous financial constraints.”
However, Minister Prashad added, the Ministry of Tourism, Industry and Commerce was able to implement most of its programmes by being more innovative and adopting new strategies.
He said that during 2008 several visits were made to producers operating in Soesdyke, Friendship East Bank Demerara, Grove East Bank Demerara and Georgetown. Two producers attended expositions overseas, these being the Gift and Craft Show held in Barbados and a trade fair held in Suriname.
Also 30 persons benefited from bamboo craft skill during the year. Ten young female craft producers registered for a 12-week training at Grove Craft Centre and successfully completed their training. Additionally, twenty persons from Moruca, Region One, 14 women and six males, completed last week a six-week bamboo-weaving training course which had commenced on July 18.
“During these training sessions, a total of approximately 130 pieces of small craft items were produced. These included vases, picture frames, drink coasters and holders, desk organisers, pen holders, cosmetic jewels, key rings, bamboo boats, baskets, fruit baskets, and waste-paper baskets.”
He added that approximately 24 pieces of tool items were handed over to the Village Captain in Moruca to sustain the production of bamboo products in the community.
“A New Arts and Craft Producers’ Association was formed during March 2008. The successful formation of this Association was due to the collaborative effort of the Ministry of Tourism, Industry and Commerce and the Guyana National Bureau of Standards.”
According to Minister Prashad, this constitutional body was launched during the month of May, 2008, and has a membership of approximately 120 arts and craft producers. Some 28 craft producers, members of the Guyana Arts and Craft Producers’ Association (GACPA), received training in the ‘Fundamentals of Marketing’.
“Two half-day sessions were held and were facilitated by Empretec Guyana Inc. Feedback received was good; members indicated that the sessions were timely. Additionally, nine executive members of the GACPA received training on “How to conduct effective meetings”.
This half-day session was facilitated by the Ministry of Tourism, Industry and Commerce.
Minister Prashad said that 25 craft producers of St. Cuthbert’s Mission Women Group received training on Small Business Management. Topics presented were: “Business feasibility study”, “How to prepare a business plan” and “Tips on setting up your own business”.
“Thirty-five out-of-school youths, aged between 15 and 25 from Kabakaburi and Akawini participated in a two-month Youth Poverty Alleviation project in the Pomeroon.”
According to him, the project covered craft training utilising coconut fibre, Heritage, Tour Guiding and Small Business Management.
“After the training two groups were formed, one in Kabakaburi and one in Akawini, in order to sustain production of coconut fibre products. Two youths from Kabakaburi attended a mini-exhibition in Georgetown where the products that were produced were showcased.”
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