A national effort leads to success
April 12, 2007
THE year 2007 is turning out to be a highly successful year for Guyana.
With the success so far in hosting two important international events, all Guyana should be proud of the truly national effort that has gone into the staging of these events.
Three important international events were scheduled to have been staged in Guyana this year. The first of these was the Rio Summit which brought together the leaders of many of the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. This was a historic meeting being hosted and one that showed the high regard in which Guyana is held in the international community.
Logistically, having so many Heads of Government in the country at the same time was extremely challenging. However, all Guyana came through and we were able to successfully host this major summit without any major hiccups.
The many things that had to be put in place served also as a trial run for the much more challenging arrangements that were necessary for Guyana’s hosting of Cricket World Cup 2007, the world’s premier one day cricket tournament which was being held for the first time in the Caribbean, thirty two years after the first competition was held in England.
For Guyana, Cricket World Cup involved more than just the distinction of hosting the event in the Caribbean. It has presented important economic opportunities for the country which has identified tourism as one of the emerging sectors of the economy.
A great deal of work had to be done, including building a new cricket stadium and training hundreds of volunteers to deal with the logistical arrangements that were necessary for the successful staging of an event of this magnitude.
In anticipation of some thirty thousand visitors, the officials began preparations to showcase our beautiful country to boost the tourism sector.
Fate played a part in the eventual outcome when Indian and Pakistan, two countries with a large travelling fan base, failed to make it past the second round of the tournament and this affected the number of tourists that would eventually come to Guyana.
This act of fate, however, did not dull the enthusiasm of the Guyanese people and as the date of the first match in Guyana drew close, the atmosphere was filled with excitement as all Guyana caught the World Cup fever. We can all be proud of the fact that some sixteen thousand visitors came to the country between February and the start of the tournament and a good many would have also arrived while the matches were being played.
While we did not get the anticipated numbers, it is of considerable significance that over the period visitor arrivals doubled when compared with last year. This shows the enormous impact that Cricket World Cup had on the local tourism sector.
That this tournament was staged in Guyana without any major hiccups, without any major spike in crime or great many unsavoury incidents is something that we can all take consolation from. For this, we must thank all Guyanese for having done all that was necessary for a successful staging of this major cricket tournament.
A special world of praise must be extended to the members of the Guyana Police Force for the hard work they put in to ensure that everything went smoothly with the traffic arrangements and for ensuring a safe and secure environment for the staging of CWC 2007.
Guyana must now build on the successes of CWC2007 as we prepare for the third major international event for this year -- the Meeting of the Finance Ministers of the Commonwealth. We would have learnt important lessons from the staging of the Rio Summit and CWC 2007 and therefore we should be able to easily surmount the challenges to the hosting of the Commonwealth Finance Ministers meeting.
There is no reason why we should not successfully host this forthcoming international conference.
So long as we work together; so long as there is a national effort, all Guyana benefits and all Guyana can be proud of the successes we enjoy.