$21.8M allocated to bring Tourism Sector in line with COVID-19 protocols

– Minister Walrond
– local tourism to be boosted
– employment to be created in hospitality sector
Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, Hon. Oneidge Walrond

Some $21.8M has been allocated to upgrade community-based tourist facilities, implement COVID-19 protocols, and equip communities to be better prepared to receive visitors post-pandemic.

This was related by Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, Hon. Oneidge Walrond during her Budget presentation on Friday.

The Ministry and the Regional Tourism Association will collaborate on the programme.

Minister Walrond noted that it will run through December and will assist with the training and acquisition of sanitation and safety supplies to guarantee an effective and safe travel system. 

She added that while the initiative applies specifically to community-based tourism facilities, it will also see the implementation of National Health and Sanitation Protocols and support the efforts of the National COVID-19 Task Force by raising awareness in keeping with all safety measures. 

“We want to ensure that when we exit the pandemic, we would’ve built our local tourism infrastructure, especially our niche eco-tourism infrastructure to such a level that we preserve this local market and Guyana will be the first choice for Guyanese,” 

Minister Walrond said, in her maiden presentation to the National Assembly.

Minister Walrond stated that plans were in motion to safely reopen and responsibly monitor, the tourism sector with a broader focus on boosting local tourism amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. 

She also relayed that the hospitality sector has seen much growth due to increased demand driven by the oil and gas sector. 

“We are preparing for the increased demands by setting out to attract investments transparently, made in large-scale branded hotel facilities with the aim of [attracting] local participation. We are actively pursuing the establishment of the hospitality institute which will serve to prepare our people for sustainable employment in the industry,” MP Walrond said.