Budget promises more official attention to tourist market

Not for the first time in recent years government is talking up tourism as a focus of accelerated attention, presenting the sector as Finance Minister Dr Ashni Singh described in this year’s budget speech, potentially “a major driver of growth and job-creation in Guyana.”

Against the backdrop of concerns expressed by local businesses in the sector that not enough official attention is being given to the aggressive external marketing of Guyana as a favoured visitor destination, government has sent signals through this year’s budget of plans to do more to support the sector.

There is still no indication that government intends to look in the direction of outlaying the millions of dollars to match the investment levels in destination marketing by the better-known ‘tourist havens’ in the region to target the conventional North American and European visitor markets. However, government, through the Finance Minister’s budget presentation, appears to be holding out the promise of a more aggressive push to boost visitor arrival numbers by encouraging tourists from neighbouring countries and, in the longer term, other countries in the hemisphere.

Finance Minister Dr Ashni Singh
Finance Minister Dr Ashni Singh

Last Monday’s budget presentation held out the promise of developing infrastructure and more opportunities for visitor arrivals here through increased “cross border travel.” Additionally, the Finance Minister pointed to the emergence of “two new services,” the Venezuelan flag carrier Conviasa and the Panamanian service Copa as evidence of increased intra-hemispheric airlift capacity that could, potentially, bring more variety to the pattern of visitor arrivals.

This year’s budget pointedly alludes to official focus on “multiple destination packaging, group travel and temporary importation of vehicles for recreation purposes.” What are clearly promises to accelerate initiatives to seek to increase cross border tourism will, according to the Finance Minister, be complemented by the completion this year of the Hinterland Tourism Development Plan with its phased introduction from September.

Further focus on strategies designed to increase hemispheric visitor interest in Guyana, will, according to the Finance Minister, witness official encouragement of more balance between participation in trade shows in North America and Europe and similar events in Latin America. Specifically, he announced that this year, for the first time,

All of this comes on top of official figures that put visitor arrivals for 2013 at 200,122, a 13.3 per cent increase over arrivals in the previous year and local hotel occupancy rate at 76 per cent, roughly the same as in 2012.

Latest in Business

At the Princess Hotel Casino

Draft gaming legislation before year end

Legislation designed to update existing local laws to ensure that they keep pace with the evolution of gaming is currently being drafted and could be completed before the end of this year, Chairman of the new Gaming Authority of Guyana Roysdale Forde has told the Stabroek Business.

20160701business cover

Georgetown Chamber expects gov’t to avail 20% of contracts for SMEs as provisioned in act

The Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) has signalled its intention to throw its weight behind the provision in the 2004 Small Business Act that binds government to ensuring that the small business sector secures a minimum of 20 per cent of procurement contracts issued by the state.

default placeholder

Are you really an entrepreneur?

Entrepreneur, Managing Director, GeoTechVision Entrepreneurship seems to be the new buzz word these days and while many are trying to build and contribute to creating an entrepreneurial ecosystem, few entrepreneurs have excelled by turning their ideas into high growth businesses.

default placeholder

Contractors seeking meetings with ministers, mayor to discuss workplace safety issues

Stabroek Business has been sent a copy of a memorandum from the 70-member General Contrac-tors Association of Guyana (GCAG) seeking what its Secretary Neil Cort-Rogers says are “important meetings” with two cabinet ministers and the Mayor of Georgetown to find solutions to “critical issues” facing the sector.

Prime Minister Keith Rowley attended by assorted dignitaries doing sod-turning duties at the site of the planned car park.

Port of Spain getting parking meters too

One thing that Georgetown appears to have in common with Port of Spain is a premium on parking space and yesterday the Trinidad Express reported that on the previous day the twin-island Republic’s Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley had turned the sod to commence the construction of a TT$100 million multi-storey car park in the capital.

Mercy Wings is training part of the country’s future work force

Mercy Wings needs public, private sector help to provide Sophia youths with life-changing skills

Sophia is one of those working-class communities where unemployment is high, poverty is ever present and the rate of school dropouts is disturbing.

Kitco is a Canadian company that buys and sells precious metals such as gold, copper and silver. It runs a website Kitco.com for gold news, commentary and market information.

Kitco Market

Gold Prices for the three day period ending Thursday  June 30, 2016

Kwakwani faces an acute crisis of bad roads

Berbice River communities facing economic challenges, community differences

Kwakwani is a struggling, underdeveloped community, a poignant example of the fact that the pace of development has not been anywhere near even across the various regions of Guyana.


About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: