Jun 07, 2023 News
…as Guyana records highest passengers in-bound for March in 10 years
Kaieteur News – Guyana’s tourism product has been struggling over the years due the unavailability of training programs to aid in boosting the service provided by hotels, lodges and restaurants, among others. With the advent of oil and gas the “time is now” for the country to up its game.
This charge was given by Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, Oneidge Walrond at the launch of a new one-year diploma programme that seeks to upskill the local service providers in Guyana, to create a memorable experience for visitors and even locals.
She was keen to note during her address that visitors to Guyana have been increasing, with the country recording its highest number of in-bound passengers in month of March this year. While analyzing the March figures for the past years, the Minister revealed, “We have seen the highest figures for March visitors’ arrival in 2023- the highest we have ever seen in 10 years.”
The diploma program was launched yesterday at the Guyana Marriott Hotel by ActionInvest Caribbean Inc (ACI). The learning institution has teamed up with the Confederation of Tourism and Hospitality (CTH), a British organization which offers vocational qualifications for the hospitality, culinary and tourism industries, worldwide.
It is understood that this program will provide students with the skills and knowledge to thrive in the dynamic hospitality and tourism industry. The CTH training will provide not only technical skills but other work-related skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, self-regulation, communication and decision making.
At the end of the one-year programme, students will be given an opportunity to continue their education for a Bachelor’s Degree, or can join the work environment.
Chairman of ACI, Dr. Vishnu Doerga while delivering remarks underscored the importance of the programme. He explained that with the oil sector rapidly expanding it has attracted more businesses here, creating the need for recreational facilities. In addition, Dr. Doerga noted that Guyanese too are now looking to experience their country as well.
As such, he said, “We want to make sure that we present our tourism product in such a way that they can leave with really fond memories and then they become ambassadors as well for everything that we have to provide here in Guyana.”
ActionInvest is now in its 10th year of providing business education and has now extended and upgraded its standards to those required by the International Accreditation Council.
In an interview with this newspaper, he explained that the programme is pegged at US$2,500 for the complete course. The diploma programme will be offered at ACI’s McDoom, East Bank Demerara office. It will not be held virtually as the trainers will engage in a hands-on experience on managing hotels, etcetera. There is presently only one training location but requests have already been made for it to be expanded to Bartica and Region Nine. The ACI Chairman said there must be at least groups of 25 for the programme to be feasible.
Interested persons must have passes from the Caribbean Secondary Education Council (CSEC). However, persons that did not pass Math or English will still be given an opportunity to participate.
Dr. Doerga explained, “This is mainly for middle management, so the Ministry does a fantastic job at running trainings for bar-tenders, for waitresses but at the moment in the market there is nothing much that requires them to do a degree.”
He noted that the diploma programme will target the middle managers in the organization where very often the training at this level becomes responsible for the poor product presented at these facilities. “If people haven’t been trained on how to run a tourism entity you can have the best bar-tenders and the best waitresses but if they are not managed well you don’t get the performance out of them so that is why we are doing these courses,” he pointed out.
Before completing their diploma, students will be required to complete an internship at tourism and hospitality businesses. During yesterday’s program launch, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Guyana Tourism Authority and the Ramada and Marriott Hotels for these businesses to provide the required internship. There are also a number of other tourism and hospitality businesses that have an expressed interest in retaining the students.
Pres. Ali putting water meters on the citizens in Berbice, and not meters on Exxon oil pumps.
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