With over 1,000 persons touching down daily at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport, Timehri (CJIA) visitor arrival figures are up by 6% compared with last year.
This is according to Housing Minister Irfaan Ali, who the Government Information Agency (GINA) said is holding responsibility for the tourism sector.
“So the rumours of people not coming to Guyana because of national and regional elections have no merit… in fact we have more than 1,000 passengers arriving everyday. That alone speaks of the magnitude of work for the airport staff and customs,” he was quoted as saying by GINA, after welcoming passengers at the airport on Monday.
The Ministry of Tourism, the CJIA and a number of private sector companies, including Banks DIH limited, Madewini resort and the Beharry Group of Companies, GINA noted, staged a “traditional Guyanese Christmas welcome” to passengers who arrived on several international flights on Monday.
On disembarking the planes and entering the arrival terminal, passengers were greeted by carollers and masqueraders, and they received a piece of black cake and some of the country’s finest beverages, GINA added. Ali told GINA that he was continuing a long-held tradition “to share the joys of life at very occasion… we are known in Guyana for our warm hospitality, the traditional black cake and of course the finest rums.” He said the ministry has planned a number of events for the festive season, including the Christmas tree light up and the Main Big Lime along with other festivities both in and out of the city.
The minister also said he was satisfied about the quality of service being offered by the airport management and staff. He said the number of arrivals bolsters government’s plans to expand and further modernize the facilities at the CJIA. According to Ali, “There is a lot in store for tourism in Guyana… and with this type of management at the facility I think we now have the right institutional strength and human capacity and will to take Guyana to higher levels.”
The minister also expressed gratitude to the new airlines serving Guyana, including EZjet, Air Jamaica and REDjet. He also noted that the Guyana Police Force has already boosted its security activities countrywide for the season.