A bold step for others to follow
Guyana Chronicle
April 1, 2002

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I felt very encouraged and overwhelmed about the prospects for the investment and tourism sector after reading about the opening of the new Regency Suites/Hotel by Shivraj Investments. This is a big shot in the arm for a sector that has continued to lament the shortage of rooms in and around the capital city.

To plough $200M into such a venture, I am certain that the investors have done their home/foreign work, which goes into the realisation of such a huge undertaking. Notwithstanding all the figures quoted by the Minister of Tourism and the knowledge that one of the most important keys to investments and tourism is a hotel friendly nation, there can be serious drawbacks to such ventures.

You see, Guyana has a plague that comes around every five years known as the 'Elections uprisings' which can have long term effects and at worse may ripple indefinitely. Now, if any entrepreneur is saying that they are not taking this seriously, they are either lying or they don't know anything about business. In this regard the Hotel/Hospitality industry is most vulnerable. Let's see how.

Come elections time and the plague visits us, a business, say for example Courts, can close it's doors until some calm is restored, and when they open again they still have their freezers, refrigerators, furniture etc. to sell.

In other words, their stock in trade will be in tact. Now a hotel with one hundred rooms open for business everyday with those one hundred rooms as it's stock in trade. If they are not sold, then these rooms cannot be stored and carried forward as unsold stock to be sold another day - they represent a loss. The next business day will always start with exactly one hundred rooms. As you can see, one of the most perishable commodity is a hotel room, without occupancy the business is doomed.

So whenever we have those 'Elections uprisings' and tourists and investors are scared away, one of the hardest hit sector is the Hotel/Hospitality industry. With this in view it is now up to the administrators of good Governance to find ways and means to eradicate this plague so that the courage and trust of people like Mr Shivraj can be vindicated. This is a sector that cries for it.

Once again, hats off to Shivraj Investments for taking the fight from
within, others will surely follow.
Danny Rampersaud