Cricket World Cup 2007
Bed and Breakfast – What are you waiting for?
KEEP A VISITOR
December 31, 2006
Clifton and Simone Rollox stand in the downstairs they are offereing to accommodate visitors for World Cup Cricket.
CLIFTON Rollox always had rooms available for when his family or friends come over, so when he heard he could keep visitors for Cricket World Cup (CWC), no matter where in the world they come from, and get paid doing so, he was more than happy to register for the Bed and Breakfast programme.
He is putting up his empty rooms to host visitors who will be coming for the Super Eight matches of CWC, starting from late March next year.
Knowing that he can make some money is of course some motivation. If you agree to keep a visitor you can earn as much between US$35-100 a night. But, it’s not all in the money.
Rollox and his wife, Simone, are looking at Guyana’s image.
“We see this as a way of realizing our dreams as a nation. If we as a nation fail, then we as Guyanese fail,” Rollox says. He sounds almost as if he could work for CWC to get more Guyanese to sign up for the Bed and Breakfast programme. And he is not even a cricket fan!
“Soccer is my first love,” he says. But he realizes how important Guyana’s success in hosting the tournament could be.
“This could be a major springboard for our tourism industry. All people know of Guyana is perhaps the name. We should be able to show them who we are as a people,” Clifton adds.
When visitors come and sleep over, he is expected to provide them with breakfast. So, they could expect some of that good old Guyanese food, perhaps some pepperpot and bread, roti and curry. And then, if his visitors want, he can also cook lunch and dinner for them. So, he gets the money that would have otherwise gone to the restaurants. The same thing goes for everybody else.
A room to house visitors for Cricket World Cup can be as modest as this.
Added to that, when his visitors leave after cricket, his name will still be on a register with the Guyana Tourism Authority. So, in the future, if visitors to Guyana want the same Bed and Breakfast accommodation, his place would be open. So, it is as if he is going into the hospitality business in the long term. The same goes for everybody else.
“Added to the short and long term financial benefits one can derive from sale of rooms, meals, basic necessities and organized tours, one can also create new friends from different countries, share and experience diverse cultures,” says Ohene Koama, Guyana’s Accommodations Coordinator for CWC.
“This is also a perfect opportunity for Guyanese to participate meaningfully, as part of the national effort, in demonstrating Guyana’s massive reservoir of hospitality, love, friendliness and customer care to the international society,” he adds.
At the end of cricket, he says this will send a warm welcome message to tourists around the world which will result in return visits and economic development for all Guyanese.
At the moment, Ohene says 351 persons have agreed to offer rooms for visitors. That adds up to 1, 100 rooms, since some of the providers have offered more than one room.
The Local Organizing Committee (LOC) of CWC wants Guyanese to open their doors, since Guyana simply does not have enough hotel accommodation for the visitors coming for the games.
Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport Dr. Frank Anthony, who chairs the LOC, says Guyana can expect about 30, 000 visitors for cricket.
However, all the hotels combined have only about 2, 000 rooms. The LOC needs 427 for Teams, Official, Media and Sponsors (TOMS) of CWC. The government has already paid money to the Buddy’s International Hotel and the Casique Palace Hotel, adjacent to the National Cricket Stadium at Providence to meet the accommodation needs of the TOMS.
That leaves the country in need of yet still thousands of rooms to accommodate visitors. Two tent cities, one to be set up by the Scouts Association and a private investor, would accommodate some 600.
Minister Anthony says many Guyanese have said that they are keeping rooms for their relatives overseas who are coming home for the games. But he says there are many others who might have a room or two, but they are not coming forward.
Dr. Anthony is encouraging all those who have a room to make it available for visitors.
Most of the commercial banks, as well as the Institute for Private Enterprise Development (IPED) are offering small loans on special arrangements for persons who wish to “fix up” their homes if they are not satisfied that they could welcome visitors.
“This is an opportunity to make some money, show the world Guyana’s hospitality, and meet new friends from around the world,” Dr. Anthony says.
(For more information on the Bed and Breakfast programme you can log on to www.guyanaaccommodations.org)
* There should be adequate lighting and ventilation
* Windows should be equipped with curtains, shades or other means of ensuring privacy.
* Bed with modern mattresses, clean and comfortable linen
* Wash Basin with mirror, running water, soap, glass tumbler and clean towels for each visitor
* All furnishings visitors are expected to use should be functional and safe to ensure optimal comfort
* Adequate means of securing doors and items storage areas should be provided to ensure guest protection.
* The entire house should be kept in an above average state of cleanliness
* There should be adequate garbage disposal measures.
* There should be adequate supply of electricity and water for visitor consumption
* There should be access to telecommunications facilities in the event of emergencies.