Tourism awareness activities take off…
Guyana to target inferior service in run up to World Cup
November 6, 2006
Guyana must urgently address the inadequacies of its shoddy service industry if it is to benefit fully from the Cricket World Cup (CWC).
This is according to President of the Tourism and Hospitality Association of Guyana (THAG), Cathy Hughes.
Hughes was addressing the gathering at the launch of Tourism Awareness Month at Umana Yana on Thursday.
The THAG President said that for Guyana to profit permanently it must first transform the service sector to one of high standards.
Hughes remarked that Guyana has long been known for its genuine hospitality.
However, she noted that the real challenge is blending such warmth and generosity with good service.
Hughes posited that it is these qualities that will play a crucial role in the advancement of Guyana 's economic future.
She added that tourism has the potential to impact on the country's unemployment figures and can place Guyana on the international stage.
Hughes emphasised that Guyana must use this opportunity to erase the negatives being proclaimed overseas.
“People are asking what we are going to do with the stadium, all those hotels and the service industry when the World Cup is finished but I'm saying if we do this right there is no telling what would happen.”
She urged paint distributors to offer discount prices on paint countrywide so that Guyana can benefit from a much-needed facelift.
Addressing the issue of the proposed Value-added Tax (VAT), Hughes expressed hope that with its application, a trip to the Kaieteur Falls would be cheaper than a trip to Trinidad .
Prime Minister Samuel Hinds, performing the duties of Head of State, declared the month of activities open and noted that jobs in tourism are just as important as any other vocation and offer even pay better.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the CWC Local Organising Committee, Karan Singh, said tourism has tremendous potential.
However, Singh said that key stakeholders must work together and volunteer a fair share of their resources. “Let the world see what a wonderful place this is,” Singh said.
He said Guyana must develop a sustainable promotional programme which matches that of its Caribbean neighbours.
Head of the Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA), Indira Anandjit, said that among the activities planned for this month are a debating competition and mini-exhibitions which are to be held in Berbice and Bartica.
GTA's Information Technology Administrator, Stacey Dos Santos, said that Guyana will be marketed through various mediums.
GTA's Chairman, Brian James, stressed that this will include the introduction of bird-watching, yachting, culture and sports tourism.
With the advent of CWC, James said Guyana is hoping to keep impressed visitors returning with the emergence of the new yachting and boating industry.
He said that because of the emerging harsh weather patterns in Barbados and Trinidad , the yachting industry is moving farther south where it can operate inhibited all year round.
According to the GTA Chairman, Guyana is also planning to incorporate local folklore such as Mashramani, Emancipation, Phagwah and Diwali as part of its cultural tourism sector.
James said this will attract a manageable influx of people at certain times each year.
He stated that this will provide an opportunity to promote our natural rainforest, open grasslands, unique mountain ranges and huge interior expanse.
James also disclosed that there will be a boost to the airlift capacity with the acquisition of two aircrafts before the end of the year.
Tourism Awareness Month has been launched under the theme “Educating and Promoting Guyana …Naturally”.