Gov’t taking positive steps on tourism – Gouveia

Gerry Gouveia

There have been positive efforts on the Government’s part to push tourism in Guyana, says Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Roraima Captain Gerry Gouveia.

The Captain was last week responding to a question posed by a member of the media regarding his perspective on Government’s role in pushing tourism in Guyana.

“I would say we have seen some movement by government and for the first time in the history of Guyana, the Government of Guyana has actually contracted a company to start looking at the marketing of Guyana. They have also contracted a high level qualified executive director for the Tourism Authority. I see those as two positive moves,” Gouveia said.

“Our tourism arrivals in Guyana and real tourism arrivals, I’m not talking about Guyanese coming/ returning home but bona fide tourists arriving on our soil still linger around 10-15,000 a year which is a joke and to get it where it needs to be, we need to spending a minimum of $US5-10M a year to market this beautiful and amazing country called Guyana with amazing people and amazing tourism potential,” Gouveia said.

“Out of the 7 billon people in this world, 95% of them don’t even know we … exist; everyone knows us for Jonestown and now they know us for oil but the people and hospitality of these people, We as Guyanese are doing ourselves an injustice by not telling the world what a wonderful country we have. The only people who can impact this is the government by putting real money into the marketing of Guyana,” he added.

But while the CEO applauds the government’s efforts, he noted that he will not sit around and wait on government alone.

“I also want to say that the private sector and I personally will not wait on the government any longer. For example, we have already  started the shopping tourism in Guyana with the Cubans and we have in excess of a 1000 people arriving on Guyanese soil every week in shopping tourism which is (producing)  US$155M  yearly and this has nothing to do with government, this is the private sector taking the bulk and running with it.

“We in the private sector understand that we have to work in partnership with the Government, but the private sector, and I would particularly talk about Roraima we are going to continue to work with our private sector colleagues in trying to build on what we have. I am not going to wait on the government but I am seeing positive sign,” he added.

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