17% increase recorded in tourism development sector
…geared to create growth in Private Sector – Minister Gaskin
Business Minister with responsibility for tourism, Dominic Gaskin, in his address to the National Assembly during the budget debate, revealed that Guyana’s tourism sector has seen tremendous and steady growth over the years.
According to Gaskin, there has been a 17 per cent increase over the same period when compared to last year. “This has been very good news to Guyana because visitors bring in money into our economy which, therefore, means that there will be more money circulating in that particular sector”.
The Business Minister underscored that an additional 30,000 visitors arrived in Guyana throughout the year, which means that an additional US$15 million was
pumped into the country’s economy.
“If we are to assume, an average visitor spends at least US$500 when they visit – which is extremely conservative – so if we look at all the figures in totality, tourism is expected to bring in US$150 million to be spent in our economy,” he explained.
Further, Gaskin noted that the Government realised the importance of this sector and its capacity to create and sustain employment and the need to develop Guyana’s tourism product to keep increasing visitors arrivals. “We do recognise the economic opportunities that tourism can create in traditionally these advantage areas, such as the hinterland where the Indigenous population lives. This is why there has been a steady increase in the budgetary appropriation for the GTA [Guyana Tourism Authority] from $123 million in 2014 to over 300 million in 2019”.
Moreover, the Minister anticipated that in 2019, the sector, which fell under the remit of the Business Ministry, will be “up to date” with the annual reports.
“The main thrust of our tourism drive is to develop sustainable tourism in each administrative region, starting with areas identified by stakeholders as their tourism hotspot. We are seeking to make tourism a mean of improving lives in the communities where it takes place by making the communities the main beneficiaries of the visitor’s flow that they allocate,” Gaskin noted.
Meanwhile, Minister of State, Joseph Hamilton condemned those who have peddled distasteful news about Guyana’s tourism sector. (Yanalla Dalrymple)