Well-trained local workforce critical to advancing tourism industry – PM Phillips

– Sod-turned for construction of Hospitality and Tourism Training Institute in Berbice

Prime Minister Brigadier (Ret’d), the Honourable Mark Phillips, emphasised the importance of tourism and the need for a well-trained local workforce to drive the industry forward as the Government advances plans to build a sustainable tourism sector.

During his featured address on Friday, at the Sod-turning ceremony for the construction of the Hospitality and Tourism Training Institute (HTTI) in Port Mourant, Berbice, the Honourable Prime Minister emphasised the relevance of the sector to building a resilient economy.

The Prime Minister, in stating the government’s commitment to developing a thriving tourism industry in Guyana, said that the focus will be on training with the aim of laying a good foundation for economic growth, job creation, and a prosperous future for all Guyanese. He said, “Through such investments, we are not just building careers; we are building a brighter future for our country.”

He noted that the establishment of a Tourism and Hospitality Training Institute was conceptualised by the PPPC prior to 2015, reaffirming the government’s dedication to bringing the project to fruition, he explained.

“The establishment and support of a Hospitality and Tourism Training Institute represent a strategic investment in Guyana’s human resource capacity.”

The Honourable Prime Minister noted, too, that “By equipping individuals with the skills and knowledge necessary to excel in the hospitality and tourism sector, we are not only empowering our workforce but also laying the foundation for a sustainable and thriving tourism industry.”

Training individuals for jobs in the hospitality and tourism sector will help elevate the industry to international standards, attract more tourists, generate revenue, and reduce unemployment rates.

In stressing the sector’s importance, PM Phillips stated, “Guyana is seeking to diversify its economy and build resilient sectors. While we are an oil-producing state, our future is not exclusively hitched to the petroleum sector. Guyana has been deemed to have a comparative advantage in sustainable tourism.”

He cited the 2015 IDB study which stated that Guyana possesses a comparative advantage over its Caribbean and South American neighbours in nature-based and adventure-based tourism. Guyana’s extensive forest cover, low negative impact on the environment, and land-based ecosystem diversity were identified as factors contributing to this advantage.

Prime Minister Phillips, while delivering remarks, also expressed gratitude to the Caribbean Development Bank for providing funding for the project and recognised the bank’s support for Guyana’s long-term economic development plans.

Senior Minister in the Office of the President, responsible for Finance and Public Service, the Honorable Dr Ashni Singh, Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, the Honourable Oneidge Waldron, Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, the Honourable Sonia Parag, along with several other government and industry officials were also present at the event.