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Friday, June 22, 2007

Guyana's tourism sector to receive more assistance

Guyana's tourism sector to receive more assistance
Published on Thursday, June 21, 2007

GEORGETOWN, Guyana (GINA): The government of Guyana is working to push the tourism sector and attract tourists from around the world to make the industry viable and, toward this end, assistance is being sought from several areas and agencies geared towards tourism promotion.

Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce Manniram Prashad recently attended a Tourism Conference held by the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) in the United States, where he made representations regarding Guyana’s membership dues, which he said have doubled. He expressed confidence that this matter will be resolved shortly.

Tourism Ministers in the Caribbean attended the two-day event, where they were able to discuss matters affecting tourism in the region. The event spanned one week and it allowed technical persons in the industry to participate in the meetings and workshops as well.

A recent requirement by the US, which makes it necessary for persons travelling to the Caribbean to have passports, was also addressed, as the CTO has been lobbying successfully for the period to be extended.

Prashad said the CTO is also lobbying to have cruise lines re-invest money in the Caribbean, which they have earned in the region. He pointed out that two ships are expected in Guyana later this year.

The Minister stated that benefits that Guyana would have been entitled to as a member were never applied for and hence the country did not receive any. These include scholarships, and management training.

Prashad said Guyana is to benefit from the assistance of the Caribbean Hotel Association, which made a commitment to send personnel to host a conference on pricing and packaging for local hoteliers and tour operators. This conference will be held in September.

The Minister met Secretary General and Chief Executive Officer of the CHA Alex Sanguinetti and President of the Association, Peter Odle, on May 25.

The sector, in trying to capitalise on the successes of the hosting Super Eight Matches of Cricket World Cup and the Rio Summit, is trying to adapt to changes that will attract more tourists.

Prashad pointed out that the CHA representatives have vast experience in the hotel industry and will be able to give advice on what Guyana should do next.

The Caribbean Hotels Association is a regional umbrella organization which works in collaboration with training institutions to provide hotel staffers within the Region with training, marketing and other technical services.

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