Sale of Marriott ‘makes economic sense’ – GS Jagdeo

– to offset more projects, add to country’s capital stock

The government’s decision to sell the Marriott Hotel makes economic sense as Guyana prepares for more investments over the next year in its tourism and hospitality industry.

This point was elaborated by General Secretary of the People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C), Dr Bharrat Jagdeo on Thursday during his weekly press conference at Freedom House.

He noted that already several expressions of interest have been received.

“There is no particular supreme benefit to government owning it. It’s better to maximise the money, invest it in something else, back in health care, something else or maybe in another facility…. It’s a pure business decision,” the general secretary said.  

PPP/C General Secretary, Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo

Dr Jagdeo noted that at the time the Marriott was built, the intent was to trigger investment.

“Marriott has emerged as a profitable venture today. It is making a profit. Secondly, the government didn’t need to own a hotel at that time…We had to trigger the investment. So now, it would be best to sell the Marriott off. You could probably maximise the price that you will get when it’s profitable and before the seven new hotels, that are privately built, that are international brands come on the market,” the GS added.

He further explained that the funds gained from the sale of the hotel can be used to offset more projects and add to Guyana’s capital stock.

In responding to a recent Stabroek News article, about the hotel being unable to service the loan, Dr Jagdeo noted that when Former Finance Minister Winston Jordon took over the loan, the PPP/C was opposed to this, and was in favour of it remaining on Marriott’s books.

However, this has nothing to do with Marriot being unable to service the loan.

The article also stated that the Marriott was ‘controversially built’ to which the GS pointed out that most of the major projects like the Berbice Bridge, the Hope Canal, The Guyana National Stadium, and the Arthur Chung Conference Centre were all opposed by a particular group of persons and were given that description.

But the PPP/C, he noted, is proud of all it has accomplished and the record is there to show how Guyana is benefitting today.

“I’m glad today, that the people who maligned us…for a long period that is now coming around to the point that the Marriott was a good decision, and it’s a profitable venture… and without it, frankly speaking, I don’t know what we would have done in the last few years, in terms of hosting people in this country,” he told reporters.

The Marriott currently employs approximately 500 persons directly or indirectly. GS Jagdeo made it clear that the hotel was always 100 per cent owned by the Government of Guyana.