Business Minister Dominic Gaskin indicated that the circumstances surrounding the country at this moment may not be conducive to a budding tourism industry with maximum potential to burgeon into a massive sector.Guests and awardees gathered at the Marriott Hotel on Friday night for the Guyana Tourism Authority Awards ceremonyHe was at the time delivering the keynote address during the Guyana Tourism Authority’s Dinner and Awards Ceremony on Friday evening.Gaskin underscored the importance of tourism to a country’s development and acknowledged the fact that Guyana boasted the rich natural resources to capitalise on this sector. However, he lamented that current conditions in the country were not favourable to the expansion of the sector.“There are way too many young Guyanese who are out of work and not really getting the feeling that Guyana is working for them; that is the problem, they are losing interest in their own country and that’s not a good thing for them, not for Guyana and not for tourism. Tourism cannot thrive in a place where there is discontent,” he stated.Gaskin emphasised that “you don’t see tourists flocking to countries with problems”.“Given the high rates of unemployment among the youths in Guyana, we cannot afford to not make the right decisions when it comes to how we manage our economy,” the Business Minister said.That aside, Gaskin highlighted that Guyana’s tourism sector had the potential to become a major industry like the gold, bauxite and sugar industries – and the nascent oil and petroleum sector.“I think tourism if we want it to be a major industry, it is only going to happen if we have large investments taking place; big projects taking place,” he added.Gaskin also expressed that each administrative region in Guyana should take up the initiative to promote the tourism hotspots in its geographic area.“We are a country of 10 regions and each one of its regions has its own unique features and each of those regions has a product to develop. I’d like to see tourism become a permanent agenda item on the business of the individual regional councils. That is the way we can get tourism to filter down to the citizens of this country who need to be involved in tourism and who need to understand that tourism is a viable industry and who need to understand also that tourism can be a solution to the problem of unemployment,” he explained.November is Tourism Awareness Month (TAM) every year in Guyana, and is an opportunity used by players in the tourism sector to promote the country’s attractions through various initiatives such as Restaurant Week, the Rupununi Safaris, bird watching tours, among other projects.Tourism Month 2016 is being celebrated under the theme “Tourism for All: Building Partnerships for Tourism Development”.
Previous Post: Sugar workers protest “closure” of Estates