$31.4 BILLION expected from tourism in 2019

– upped 17 percent from 2017 – Minister Gaskin

DPI, Guyana, Monday, December 03, 2018

Minister of Business Dominic Gaskin has projected that Guyana will accumulate some $31.4Billion (US $150Million) from the tourism sector in 2019, a prospect; he said will be great for the country.

Addressing the National Assembly on the first day of the budget debate this morning, Minister Gaskin said that figure does not include airfares or the taxes applied to airfares.

Guyana has seen a 17 percent increase in visitors as of September 2018, compared to the same period last year. He said this is “good news for Guyana,” as visitors bring along with them, money that is pumped into the economy”

Minister of Business, with responsibility for Tourism, Dominic Gaskin

“Visitors have to eat, sleep, travel around the country, and each of these activities cost money,” he told the House.

According to Minister Gaskin, for the additional 30,000 visitors arriving in Guyana this year, an additional $3.1Billion (US $15Million) has been circulating within the country.  He said the increase in visitors to Guyana over the last year is a testimony to the important role the tourism sector is playing in Guyana’s economic development.

“So, what I am saying is that apart from gold and rice, tourism brings the highest amount of foreign earnings into Guyana’s economy and this amount is growing every year at a handsome rate.”

The Minister said the government realises the importance of this sector and its capacity to create and sustain employment and also the need to develop Guyana tourism product to keep up with increasing visitor arrivals.

The minister also addressed statements made by Opposition Member of Parliament Irfaan Ali, earlier in his presentation regarding the government’s accountability for the sector. Minister Gaskin said it was Ali, who as the former minister with responsibility for tourism, had neglected his sector during his tenure.

“I raise this to illustrate the scant regard that the previous administration gave to accountability and transparency while in government and to say to that political party that its record speaks volumes, lest we forget. And also to reassure this House that while we may be spending much more money on tourism than the previous government, we are also ensuring that there is accountability and transparency in the spending of that money” he said

From the $2.65Billion allocated to the Ministry of Business for 2019, the Guyana Tourism Authority and the Department of Tourism will receive $305Million and G$93Million respectively.

Alexis Rodney

Image: Department of Public Information


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