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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

GINA seeks to counter impression of hostility against journalists

It must be noted that GINA is the government's information arm.

Foreign journalists impressed with Guyana
Published on Wednesday, October 24, 2007

GEORGETOWN, Guyana (GINA): Guyana’s rich natural beauty and pristine rainforest along with Guyanese hospitality have left an enduring impression on the minds of delegates, visitors and foreign journalists for the Commonwealth Finance Ministers Meeting (CFMM) held here from October 15 to 17.
Minister of Finance Dr Ashni Singh in his remarks at the opening ceremony of the CFMM at the National Cultural Centre on October 15 told delegates, “Guyana is a beautiful country with the size of Great Britain but a population of only 751,000. Approximately 90 percent of our population lives along the coastal belt which is below sea level. Meanwhile, an expansive tropical rain forest, interspersed with mountain ranges and waterfalls, populated by a rich biodiversity, and covering two-thirds of our land mass, has remained largely untouched.”

A section of the foreign media
at Arrowpoint
The Ministry of Tourism, Industry and Commerce organised a tour for media practitioners to visit the Arrowpoint Nature resort for them to get a first hand look at Guyana’s eco-tourism product. They were also treated to a dinner by the Government Information Agency at the Splashmin’s Resort along the Soesdyke/Linden Highway and given a guided tour by night of the facilities.

These are their impressions of Guyana:

Enock Kiyaga Mayanja – Freelance Correspondent from Uganda based in London
“My impression is that Guyana is not well reflected in the outside media because when I came I had the wrong impression, my expectations were low but the experience I have had for the last three or four days has been so overwhelming, it has changed my attitude, it has broadened my horizon and appreciation of Guyana as a country and especially I loved my interaction with nature, the flora, the fauna, river, Arrowpoint. it has really been a fruitful, exciting and enjoyable moment punctuated with learning but in a friendly and enjoyable manner.”

Rahul Venkit – The Hindu Newspaper, Mumbai, India
“It’s a very warm country and I am not talking just about the weather. It’s the warmth, the hospitality of the people, it’s infectious. You notice that there is a very good vibe from the people, the streets, there is great energy. Development wise as well it’s fair to say that the image painted abroad doesn’t do justice to what the country really is. We hear all these horror stories about crime and all those kind of problems but its not true at all. The attitude of the people, it’s very easygoing nature, very hospitable, they’re all very interested in how you got here, they’re very proud of their country as well which I think is very important, that national identity is there, it’s strong. the people themselves and their spirit is what impressed me the most I mean apart from of course the stunning natural beauty here… I think if Guyana were to invest in places like upcoming economies like India and China where the disposable income levels are rising people want to go for vacations. I think Guyana should maybe project itself as an alternative tourist destination you know untouched by tourists. Arrowpoint was a great example of it. It feels like a part of a James Bond movie going through with jet skies and everything and yes it is very exciting, offers you a whole plethora of experiences.”

Allison Lowe – Barbados Tribune
“To be honest I didn’t have too much of a preconceived conception of what it would be like although I guess I presumed it would be a lot like I had ideas of what South America was generally like and it was a lot different from that. The Dutch influence with the canals and everything, I wasn’t expecting that and I think it’s a very diverse country and it certainly has a lot going for it. A trip that we went on in the rainforest I was very impressed with that I hadn’t realised that the population is just on the coastline and then all that land all the way in for miles it’s just so lush… From what I saw at Arrowpoint I think that could have massive yield to the tourism market. I would definitely go back there. “

Julius Mucunguzi – Media and Public Affairs Department, Commonwealth Secretariat (London)
“Guyana is an amazing country, it has an amazing people, very friendly, I come from Africa and I felt at home, I meet people on the streets and they greet me. We had an opportunity to have a feel of interaction with the people in Guyana with the beauty of Guyana on the different trips we went on, the only thing that has been our great challenge is lack of time to enjoy the best of Guyana but what we have seen what we’ve experienced has been excellent.”

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