Govt committed to developing tourism industry – Prime Minister
…aims to create thousands of jobs, attract billions in investment
Prime Minister, Brigadier (ret’d) Mark Phillips, on Thursday evening reiterated Government’s commitment to grow and develop the tourism industry during its tenure.
The Prime Minister made this statement at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre while delivering remarks at the launch of the fourth video of the “Guyana Yours to Discover” series, titled “Colours of the Rainforest” and produced by Captain Michael Charles.
He said that, over the next five years, the tourism industry will see massive transformation and unprecedented levels of investment.
“Our aim is to have a world-class tourism product, capable of creating thousands of jobs, attracting billions in investment, and earning just as much for Guyana as we presently do from some of our traditional exports,” the Prime Minister is quoted by the Department of Public Information as saying.
He added that even with restrictions in place as a result of COVID-19 regulations and the consequent reduction in tourism, many investors are still approaching the Government.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has not dampened investor interest in Guyana’s tourism. A number of investors are lined up and ready to inject massive investments in hotel construction. We are also courting other investors with the aim of increasing the stock of hotel rooms by an additional 2,000 units. We anticipate more than US$1B investments in the hotel construction sector within the next three years. This will allow us to boost conference and convention tourism and, in the process, create about 4,000 additional jobs,” Phillips added.
The PM, who pointed out that Guyana has some of the world’s most splendid natural attractions, said that without investments in the sector, the attractions will remain only potential sources of wealth for the country, as opposed to value-added products.
“It is of little value to be bragging about Kaieteur Falls if we cannot make it part of a sustainable tourism product. It is of no use speaking about our treacherous rapids and unique biodiversity if these resources cannot be sustainably developed in a manner which allows for them to be preserved while becoming part of the country’s eco-tourism product,” he said.
The Prime Minister added that the Government would continue to support the industry during the pandemic, in preparation for its revival.
“We have begun to provide support to aid the sector. In last year’s Emergency Budget, for example, we announced the removal of the value-added tax on hinterland travel and the provision of special tax incentives for new hotels and tourism-related businesses.”