Gov’t will work aggressively to improve tourism sector – President Ali
– Says he wants to create “one-of-a-kind” experiences for regional visitors
His Excellency Dr Irfaan Ali assured tourism stakeholders that his Government would continue to work aggressively to improve the tourism sector and create unique experiences that will attract people from all parts of the world.
President Ali made the statement during the launch of the 23rd edition of Explore Guyana magazine at the Cara Lodge Hotel this evening.
He reminded the stakeholders that they have “in this Government and in this President, a true partner because I believe strongly in what we have. I believe very strongly in what we have to offer”.
He said that the Government will make the necessary investments to help improve Guyana’s competitiveness, to offer more incentives, to bolster expansion plans and to find ways in which there can be a meaningful reduction to the costs for movement to and from the hinterland and riverain communities.
The President added that while the Government is investing heavily in the country’s infrastructural development, there is also a need for a partnership approach to propel the sector forward.
The Head of State noted that these investments are geared towards the creation of unique experiences.
He highlighted that the Government is exploring the option of creating a “one-of-a-kind” safari/drive-through zoo experience “somewhere close to the bulk of the population”.
“So we’re thinking of how we can create, in its natural environment, a one-of-a-kind zoo, a drive-through zoo that people from all across the Caribbean, South America can say this is a one-of-a-kind, unique experience we want to be part of and that is something that we are looking at, to see how it can be created.”
In addition to that, the President said that there is a very elaborate enhancement plan for the existing zoo and botanical gardens that will start soon.
THE FUTURE IS TOURISM
President Ali emphasised that tourism and agriculture will be the country’s strongest and most sustainable sectors in the future.
“We have to invest in these sectors not only physically but on the human resource capacity and ensure that we build the competitiveness of the sector.”
He lauded the reach of the magazine and the enhanced digital version. He also spoke of the need to improve the ICT sector in Guyana, which will revolutionise the country’s competitiveness and its ability to be an effective player in the global market.
While the sector is recovering from a difficult two years caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the President said that there is reason to celebrate as the multi-stakeholder approach has been effective.
“And I think we’ve done exceedingly well. And when I say we, it is the Government partnering with the private sector and civil society in creating that balance.”
The President also announced that he has asked the Prime Minister, Brigadier (Ret’d), the Honourable Mark Phillips, to review the current curfew with an aim of removing it “as early as tomorrow”.
ENERGY CONFERENCE: A TOURISM OPPORTUNITY
With the Guyana Energy Conference and Expo 2022 set to take place from February 15 to 18, President Ali said that the event will present the opportunity for growth in the tourism sector.
“So the Energy Conference is not only about oil and gas, for a matter of fact to me oil and gas is the sweetener… This is our time in the sector to put the country, our services and everything on the show for all those who are coming.”
To aid this, the President said that the Government and private sector have concocted an innovative idea of making the Umana Yana a duty-free zone. He said that the Government has invited local suppliers, producers, including makers of jewellery and rum and persons who create art and craft, to generate a shopping experience for all the foreign delegates and visitors coming to the conference.
This, he said, will bring the market potential to them in a creative way that will showcase Guyana’s capabilities.
The President also noted that in building the country’s emphasis on food security, the Government is looking to launch ‘The President’s Children’s Orchard’ with different types of trees and cabins where children will not only enjoy but also learn about the importance of food and sustainability. The aim, according to the President, is to create a new culture and drive for our future leaders.