Nov 02, 2022 News
…Gov’t commits to decentralizing the sector
Kaieteur News – The Ministry of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, in collaboration with the Guyana Tourism Authority on Monday launched Tourism Month 2022 under the theme, ‘All sectors, One tourism’ at the Watooka Guest House in Linden.
Prime Minister Brigadier (Ret’d) Mark Phillips told those gathered at the opening ceremony that the Government of Guyana views tourism as a significant contributor to the country’s economy. He disclosed that Guyana benefits from an average of US$300M annually. For the first half of 2022, Guyana saw an 103 percent increase in tourists visiting the country when compared to the same period the previous year.
“So when it comes to tourism, boosting all our sectors, to create one dynamic destination, sets us apart and bolsters our country’s development…tourism has quickly become a major contender over the years,” he stated.
The Prime Minister said too that over 50,000 jobs were provided in the sector while explaining that tourism protects, preserves and celebrates Guyana’s environmental cultural heritage. The tourism sector, he said, is becoming an avenue for economic diversification and upscaling opportunities.
Prime Minister Phillips said focus is currently being placed on addressing potential loop holes and decentralizing the sector. Admitting that much work needs to be done, the Prime Minister said that Government is investing heavily in each region while pointing specifically to the $30M investment in the Linden Waterfront project.
Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce Oneidge Waldron; also spoke to Government’s decentralizing efforts. She said in Region 10, efforts to decentralize the tourism sector in Region 10, are being enhanced through the Linden to Lethem road construction project and the Linden-Soesdyke Highway rehabilitation project.
Decentralization, the Minister said, is part of the deliberate thrust for inclusion and regional economic development. “We come to these places because we believe we must increasingly take our major national events and observances outside of the capital and bring them to you wherever you are, all over the country for Guyana is much more than Region Four and Georgetown…they increase your national and international profile which is invaluable,” she said.
The Tourism Minister urged residents to become members of their local tourism committees and to take ownership of their region’s tourism products. “There is a critical need for expansion of members of these committees…every operator in the sector should take ownership of the tourism product in their region, Waldron said.
Meanwhile, Chairman of the Region 10 Tourism Committee Devin Sears called for a bi- partisan approach to regional tourism development even as he welcomed the infrastructural enhancement projects in the region.
Over 500 tourists visit Linden weekly to partake in aqua and eco-tourism activities. Sears said Region 10 has many tourism products to be exploited and the development of the sector can create more than 20,000 jobs, something that is urgently needed.
Thirty-seven activities are slated to occur in Region 10 from November 1, 2022 to December 4, 2022 as part of Tourism Month. Nationally, there will be a Tourism Enhancement project at Fort Kyk-Over-Al, Tourism Entrepreneurial Workshops, Guyana Fish Festival and Tourism Awards Ceremony.
Following the launch of Tourism Month, the Prime Minister, Minister of Tourism and other officials attended the launch of Wayne’s World Apartment and Oasis in Amelia’s Ward. Wayne’s World is one of the eco-tourism resorts in Linden that attracts scores of tourists weekly.
Other officials present at the ceremony included United States (U.S) Ambassador to Guyana, U.S. Ambassador Sarah-Ann Lynch, Member of Parliament, Jermaine Figueira, Mayor of Linden, Waneka Arrindell, President of the Tourism Hospitality Associations of Guyana, Harrinand Persaud and Director of the Guyana Tourism Authority Kamrul Baksh.
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