New airlines, hotel developers among investors lined up for Guyana
…interest also expressed for building airstrips – Minister
It has been revealed that a number of hotel investors and airline carriers, including the Fly Always and West Jet airlines, are lined up in seeking to invest in Guyana, all within the first 100 days of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Government being in office.
This was revealed by Public Works Minister Juan Edghill during his address to the newly installed Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) board at the agency’s Kingston headquarters on Wednesday.
According to Edghill, Government has held talks with West Jet, a Canada-based carrier; Inter-Caribbean Airlines, which is based in Turks and Caicos Islands; and Fly All Ways, a Suriname-based carrier.
“We have been in conversation and discussion with West Jet, Inter-Caribbean Airlines, and Fly All Ways is also knocking strongly at the door. And by no means should that be a full stop, because we want the world visiting Guyana and we want Guyana visiting the world,” he explained.
Apart from airlines and hotel developers wanting to enter Guyana’s market, there are investors who want to build airstrips. Edghill noted that the board would play a key role in helping the Government to make decisions on these proposals.
“Quite recently, someone came to see me about opening up an airstrip at Orealla. People would like to partner for the development of the airstrip at Linden. I’m outlining these things to you that, in three short months, the movement of interest and level of involvement and development that people have indicated they want to participate in to modernise Guyana is immense,” he said.
Meanwhile, Edghill reminded that the Government had put out a Request for Proposals (RFP) for persons to construct hotels. According to him, Government have received very promising proposals from two persons, with one of the proposals forwarded to Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) Chief Executive Officer Ramesh Ghir.
“Just a few days ago, the expression of interest and request for proposals for the building of hotels in Guyana closed. The intent is that we should have at least 2000 first-class rooms, so that Guyana could become a convention destination.
“My office has received two proposals that were submitted to the Ministry of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, where two of those persons have expressed interest in building hotels at the Timehri International Airport. And I must tell you I like what I see in those proposals,” Edghill further explained.
Since coming to office in August of this year, the Government has been in receipt of proposals with respect to hotel development. It had therefore put out RFPs in September, inviting all persons with interest in that regard to submit or resubmit their proposals. It had been announced that the Government was prepared to offer generous incentives for the development of the hotel and hospitality sector, including fiscal incentives.
In the RFPs, investors were expected to identify the project or land proposed for hotel development, specifying size, location, and other details, including ownership details such as transport, lease, and associated survey plan.
They were also required to detail all terms if the proposed land is to be obtained from the Government, including basis of valuation and terms of lease, sale, or lease with an option to buy.
The RFP has also dealt with both developers using private land or seeking Government land for development.
Investors were also mandated to provide evidence of financial capacity to fund such a project. According to the RFP, only parties providing evidence of financial capacity to undertake a project as principal would be considered.
They were also required to provide a concept design for the project showing proposed site layout, number of floors, associated amenities, and a rendering of the proposed project.
The Government had said it would use the responses to this RFP to rank and select those parties who would be invited to negotiate a memorandum of understanding (MoU), including land terms including zoning, development conditions, and other incentives that would be provided.
The Government, in its Emergency Budget, outlined several measures to support tourism, including a special incentive package to attract new investments that will result in four new hotels being built. (G3)