Tourism Stakeholders from across the country gathered in the mining town of Linden, Tuesday for the Launch of Tourism Awareness Month which is being observed under the theme ‘All Sectors, One Tourism’.
Prime Minister Brigadier (Ret’d) Mark Phillips, while delivering the feature address noted that tourism over recent times has proven to be a major contributor to Guyana’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
He said, recognising the tremendous potential of the sector, the PPP/C Administration placed major focus on its development.
“Our government has always placed tourism as a priority given its development potential and Guyana’s natural portfolio, moreover, as Guyana continues to attract attention from the wider world we have already committed to investing in our people through capacity building in hospitality management, quality assurance and other critical areas, as we prepare for an influx of tourists ready to take in the magic of destination Guyana ,” the prime minister stated.
The PM noted that while agriculture and other productive sectors have traditionally made significant contributions to the country’s GDP, Tourism is also a significant player in the country’s development with a $300 million annual GDP contribution, creating employment for 15, 000 persons currently.
“Adequate investments in, and development of our country’s tourism sector can directly lead to economic growth and increase in jobs. Our tourism protects , preserves and celebrates our country’s environmental and cultural heritage, more and more our tourism is becoming an avenue of economic diversification and upskilling opportunities, which is why a focus on all sectors is critical,” the prime minister asserted.
PM Phillips believes that there is tourism potential in all communities that can be developed with assistance from the various agencies.
The prospects for tourism development in Linden, he noted is now greater with the $30 million investment as part of the Linden Waterfront Development Project, and other developments in the infrastructural, housing and other sectors.
Revenue from the oil and gas industry, he noted, will be utilised to improve all sectors and to make Guyana the premier destination for eco-tourism
“The fact is the revenue stream is there we will develop all the traditional sectors and we see tourism and specifically eco-tourism as one of the traditional sectors in guyana and we will continue to provide necessary resources to develop that sector,” the PM said.
The theme for this year’s observance, he posited, is no coincidence, as it is linked to President Dr Irfaan Ali’s ‘One Guyana’ Vision.
Meanwhile, Minister of Tourism, Oneidge Walrond noted that the government is on a path to create opportunities for all and it is reflected in the launching of Tourism Month in Linden.
This she said, will increase the national and international profile of the region and bring economic benefits.
“Our staging of activities such as these in your community is part of our deliberate thrust for inclusion, a thrust for inclusive social and economic development which we believe all Guyanese have a right to expect and demand of us, this trust for inclusion is part of what One Guyana means to us that we are one country and one people, we wish all our citizens to feel involved recognised and appreciated , and we wish all our citizens in every town every village every region in our community to benefit from Guyana’s resources,” Minister Walrond said.
She also spoke of the other developments that government is pursuing in the region such as the housing programme, Linden to Mabura Road, and the rehabilitation of the Soesdyke-Linden Highway.