Hospitality Institute to be bigger than initially planned

The construction of the hospitality institute in Guyana will now be bigger than initially thought, Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce Oneidge Walrond, said Sunday.

The minister said that the project had to be rescoped because of the tremendous interest in Guyana.

Hospitality worker Claude Benjamin Interacts with minister Walrond on a recent field trip.

So, we have realised that we have need for more rooms, that our hospitality sector has expanded far beyond what we would have thought eight or nine years ago, and so the project does not cater for the vision that we see for the hospitality sector in Guyana right now, it’s going to be bigger and far more expansive than we had envisioned.

Certainly, the project, as it was when we came into government, did not cater for that vision, for a large vision. So, we’ve had to rescope it and so that is what has caused the delay.  So, it’s not been able to start right now but we are in that rescoping phase and the consultants are now looking at a bigger, better, more state-of-the art facility,” the minister said.

She said government will also have to move the institute to Ogle, East Coast Demerara.

We would have had to move the location to someplace bigger. We are looking at putting the hospitality institute in the area that was identified for hotel development, because the hospitality institute will work hand in hand with the branded hotels. So, the persons going to the institute will use the hotels as an in-service, kind of training,” the minister said.

Minister Walrond noted that the sod has been turned for several branded hotels expected to be completed by 2023-2024, which will see an additional 1000-1200 rooms.

Hospitality worker in action.

That means we will need people to run the facilities, from the lowest level employee to managerial staff.  So, there is an immediate need for trained hospitality staff and so that is the gap that Barbados is willing to fill right now, so that we could start training people for the hospitality sector, before the hospitality institute comes on board because by the time it comes on board and we develop a curriculum and start training people, the need will already be upon us.”

President Irfaan  Ali announced recently that Barbados has agreed to train 6000 Guyanese in the hospitality sector.

Persons from all regions of Guyana are expected to benefit from the bilateral agreement.