Guyana Carnival officially launched

─ expectations are high because of last year’s success

By Natasha Smith

DPI, Guyana, Saturday, May 18, 2019

Minister of State, Dawn Hastings-Williams and Minister of Business, Haimraj Rajkumar joined the Guyana Carnival committee and patrons at the official opening ceremony of the Guyana Carnival activities on Friday, May 17, on Main Street, Georgetown.

Over the next eleven days, several activities will be held for the Guyana Carnival, which was declared open by the State Minister. The event revolves around Guyana’s Independence celebrations and includes a grand masquerade and costume parade on Independence Day, Sunday, May 26.

In his remarks, Minister of Business, Haimraj Rajkumar reminded of the significance of the event, which seeks to promote the rich cultural heritage of Guyana. Additionally, he related that government is pleased to support the Guyana Carnival Committee to bringing this signature tourism event to the people. The importance of such collaborations between the private sector and government was also highlighted.

“The concept of Carnival is new to Guyana, but if last year is anything to go by, I’m confident that we have already caught on how to do Carnival and it can only get better from here on… Guyana Carnival will undoubtedly bring more visitors to Guyana, but outside of increased arrival, we anticipate that there will be an economic impact from this event, directly and indirectly; increased bookings at our hotels and guest rooms, tour operators and transportation services are just some of the direct impact of this eleven-day event.”

He further expressed satisfaction that the Guyana Carnival Committee has placed emphasis on working with the Tourism and Hospitality Association of Guyana (THAG) to ensure that the tourism sector benefits, adding that Guyana Carnival is another means for putting Guyana on the map; to be recognised as a leading sustainable tourism destination and to showcase the rich culture and national heritage to the world.

Moreover, he encouraged persons to visit the various tourist destinations all across Guyana.

Chairman of the Guyana Carnival Committee, Bobby Viera, in his remarks noted: “The celebrations of the anniversary and the attainment of our Independence and Republican status and other national cultural activities, is something the committee feels should remain of vital importance as it provides for our nation… Carnival is simply to add another festival to the annual Calendar of Events in order to promote tourism entertainment and the awareness for locals, persons in the diaspora and visitors to enjoy hand in hand as we commemorate our anniversary of independence.”

He said too that the Guyana Carnival addresses the socio-economic challenges by preserving and encouraging the creative work of Guyanese craftsmen and women, musicians both singers and producers, as well as designers. The staging of this is perfect at the commencement of the summer vacation travel period and provides both direct and tangible opportunities for tourists to see and experience Guyana and the various aspects of Guyanese culture, cuisine and tourist attractions.

The committee collaborated with the Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA) to provide training on how to provide for the expected visitors.

Viera disclosed that last year saw increased arrivals during the Carnival season.

Meanwhile, Mayor of Georgetown, Ubraj Narine, who was also in attendance, echoed similar sentiments in recognition of the country’s Independence and the opportunity to market the ‘Land of many waters’ to the rest of the world.

Images: Keno George.

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