First Lady unveils ‘Welcome to Guyana Monument’ at Timehri
-$25M project will help market Guyana brand
First Lady, Mrs. Arya Ali has unveiled the $25 million ‘Welcome to Guyana’ monument at a simple ceremony at the Timehri roundabout. The First Lady was accompanied by President Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali at Tuesday’s event.
Mrs. Ali said she initiated the National Beautification Project to complement Guyana’s changing economic landscape, and foster the growing interest of both investors and tourists in travelling here.
The project, she says, “seeks to safeguard the scenic qualities of Guyana while simultaneously creating an environmentally friendly society by reducing our carbon footprint.”
“This project relies on the scenic conservation and revitalisation which can both motivate and accelerate community renewal and reinvestment as part of a larger economic development or master plan,” Mrs. Ali said.
The First Lady added that the project is guided by five principles of scenic conservation including the retention of the distinct character of cities, towns and communities; the protection and regulation of our scenic resources; the regulation and monitoring of any form of unlawful intrusion of the landscape or community appearance of public spaces and the sensitisation about the value of scenic conservation.
The project was a collaboration among Government agencies and private sector partners. It entailed landscaping the surrounding, 100 hanging flower baskets being installed on lamp posts leading to the roundabout and a 20-foot ‘Welcome to Guyana’ monument being erected. The sign was designed, built and installed by Impressions Branding. The Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) also invested a substantial amount of resources in realising the project.
Mrs. Ali believes that the monument augers well for destination marketing.
“The development of this area will without a doubt, add to the value of Guyana’s tourism experience and support efforts to market brand Guyana. A strong country brand encourages tourists, trading partners and investors all at once and that is what Guyana needs.
In an emerging economy like ours, marketing is functionally important so every tourist expat or even local who snaps a photograph at this multimillion-dollar sign and uploads it to their social media profile is helping us to improve and increase Guyana’s brand awareness,” she said.
The First Lady also noted that her Office has embarked on scenic revitalisation projects at the Kingston seawall, the Tuschen Community Centre Ground and La Jalousie, West Coast Demerara.
Meanwhile, Chief Executive Officer of the CJIA, Mr. Ramesh Ghir said the monument is one of several transformational projects in the community. It complements other projects planned for the area including a Marriot hotel and the completion of the airport expansion during the last quarter of this year.
“This monument will serve to welcome every passenger that visits our beautiful country. We also imagine that the area will become the latest hotspot for ‘photoholics’ who will at every opportunity snap photos using this marvellous monument as a backdrop,” he said.
Additionally, Creative Director of Impressions, Mr. Shane Sukhlal said the company had supported similar initiatives such as the installation of the “I love Guyana’ sign in Kingston.
“Our First Lady has a vision of Guyana first and the image that we create and leave behind is what is at the forefront for her. This and other similar projects are aimed at promoting patriotism and as responsible proud Guyanese, we need to build, reimagine, rebrand and promote our beautiful country,” he said.
The company also plans to support other similar projects such as the enhancement of the Eugene F. Correia International Airport with a similar monument.
Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, Hon. Oneidge Walrond; Acting British High Commissioner to Guyana, His Excellency Ross Denny; Canadian High Commissioner, His Excellency, Mark Berman; United States Ambassador to Guyana, Her Excellency Sarah-Ann Lynch and CEO of the Guyana Office for Investment, Dr. Peter Ramsaroop, also attended the ceremony.