Tourism Sector poised for dramatic take off in 2024 – Dr. Singh

The Tourism sector is poised for a dramatic takeoff in 2024 as some major constraints will be alleviated.

This is according to the Senior Minister within the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance Dr Ashni Singh, as he presented Budget 2024, in the National Assembly on Monday.

“It is expected, in 2024, you will witness a truly historic year in relation to the developments in the tourism sector,” Dr Singh stated.

Senior Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Dr Ashni Singh

Dr. Singh stated that in 2023 there were 319,056 thousand visitor arrivals in Guyana, the highest number ever recorded.

One of the constraints that has affected the Tourism sector, Dr Singh, stated is the volume and cost of airlift to Guyana. However, the government has been working to solve this issue.

“In order to ensure the expansion of airline routes and seat volumes, our government has maintained efforts to improve connectivity between Guyana and the rest of the world with new services and routes,” Dr Singh stated.  

He noted the British Airways twice weekly service from London via St Lucia, Canada Jetlines and Fly Always twice weekly service to Toronto, Suriname Airways’ Bridgetown Georgetown, Paramaribo service, and new services by current carriers, that together added 150, 234 seats in 2023, or 15% more than 2022.

In addition to those, he also noted the United Airlines announcement of the introduction of a service from Houston to Georgetown four times weekly from April 2024.

“This provides yet another route into the US with improved connectivity to third cities in the US and beyond, and will ease the pressure and increase availability on existing Miami and New York services,” Dr Singh said.

The senior minister said that “In June 24, American airlines will expand their services with an additional daily flight between Miami and Georgetown, Mr. speaker the new services by United and American will add 137,268 new seats to the market in 2024, these will make a huge impact on seat availability pricing and commuter options and convenience.”

Another constraint, which is the availability and cost of international standard rooms will also be improved this year with a significant increase in rooms.

In this regard, work has been done to attract private investment in the industry and this will add over $1,000 world class to the stock by the end of 2024.

The Aiden Best Western in Georgetown is expected to open its doors by May, with 150 rooms while the Marriott Courtyard at Timehri expected to open by August with 150 rooms.

Artist Impression of one of the Hotels that will be completed in 2024

Additionally, the Four-Point Sheraton at Providence is poised for completion by December adding 172 while the AC Mariott at Ogle expected to open by December will 152 new rooms.

Dr Singh also mentioned that a Hyatt Place, which is expected to open by December, will add 160 rooms while construction will continue on several other hotel properties.

Meanwhile, the government has also prioritized training for persons who will work in the tourism sector. 

“We trained over 6,000 persons in the sector in 2023, We will continue that training and work will commence in 2024 on the long-awaited tourism and hospitality institute, a sum of 530 million dollars is allocated,” Dr Singh stated.

Budget 2024 was presented in the National Assembly under the theme, “Staying the Course: Building Prosperity for All”.