East Coast Corridor will become symbol of transformation – President Ali
His Excellency Dr Irfaan Ali said that the addition of the AC Marriott at Ogle would help convert the East Coast of Demerara corridor into a “symbol of transformation”.
The President made this statement on Thursday afternoon, during the sod-turning exercise for the 150-room hotel, which would be constructed at a cost of approximately US$45m.
“So where we are sitting here today used to be old cane lands. On the right of us, also used to be old cane lands. Everything that you see on the left of myself here, and look at it carefully because in five to ten years, it will not be there. Enjoy this view because this corridor is going to become a symbol of transformation in our country.”
The Head of State said that the transformation will be built on the tenets of “strategic, deliberate and very precise planning”.
Earlier this week, sods were also turned for the 150-room Pasha Global Hotel in Liliendaal and the 150-room Four Point Sheraton Hotel in Houston.
President Ali noted that the hotels will be complemented and supported by massive infrastructural projects such as the Ogle to Eccles East Bank Demerara superhighway, which will connect to a new highway into Georgetown; a new highway from Enmore to Golden Grove; the expansion of the airport; many multinational corporate headquarters; world-class medical facilities; 2000 acres of development for middle, high and low-income housing and an industrial and commercial zone among others.
BUILDING A ROBUST SECTOR
President Ali also underscored that the new hotels and other investments in the tourism and hospitality sector are not just part of a “narrow goal” of just increasing the country’s room capacity, but are part of a grand plan to build a sector in which hospitality is the cornerstone of growth and development.
“Building this sector is directly related to supporting a robust, sustainable and resilient development plan that is linked to many new and innovative products.”
IMPORTANCE OF RESPECTFUL PARTNERSHIPS
The President also spoke of the importance of respectful partnerships and the role they play in development.
“Partners must have respect and not only respect for each other as partners, respect for the countries that we are from, respect for the cultures, and respect for the differences. We must not enter a partnership in which we are looking to win. You must enter a partnership in which you are looking for all the partners to win. If you are looking to singularly win, don’t go into partnership—a partnership is not built for you. The only way a partnership can be successful is if everyone is trying to win equally. A partnership must have a level of dignity, a level of respect.”
He added that a partnership with a country must be linked to its national development plans and should exemplify transparency, reliability, and trustworthiness.
The AC Marriott Hotel will be a five-storey full-service hotel and will contain amenities such as a swimming pool, fitness room, lounge, library, media salon, reception area, outdoor area, a courtyard, paved parking lots and drive aisles. When completed, the hotel is expected to create more than 140 jobs with 99% of them being Guyanese. It is being constructed by Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana Company Trinuyana and will be constructed by the China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) in 30 months.
The AC Marriott Hotel, Pasha Global Hotel, Four Point Sheraton Hotel, Aden hotel, Airport Marriott, and Sleep Inn will add more than 900 new rooms to the country’s capacity, which is almost 50% of the Government’s target of 2000 in five years.