Guyana President Donald Ramotar, r., presents a book of photographs of the Rupununi to CTO SG Hugh Riley. (News Americas image)
News Americas, GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Tues. April 17. 2012: As the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s 13th annual Sustainable Tourism Conference inched to the close on Tuesday, Guyana’s President Donald Ramotar insisted the country is committed to promoting its “unique tourism product” with a focus on “community-based” tourism.
His comments came at a cocktail reception he hosted for foreign delegates to the conference on the lawns of State House in Georgetown, Guyana.
President Ramotar told the gathering, that included Secretary General of the Caribbean Tourism Organization, Hugh Riley, that his government plans to support measure that will “strengthen and expand community involvement in the development of our tourism product.”
“We have a varied tourist product,” said Ramotar. “It is therefore no accident that we are beginning to receive international accolades and recognition for the efforts in sustaining this product.”
The President also revealed that his administration plans to host an extensive marketing seminar in the U.S., targeting tourism operators, media and specialist to promote investment and expansion opportunities in Guyana using the proposed increase in its recommended budget for the tourism ministry this year.
Unfortunately, at press time, the opposition Alliance for Change’s Chairman, Khemraj Ramjattan, proposed cuts of G$200.7M to the sector to Minister of Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh, who wrapped up debate on the budget and several hours after the minister indicated that he was prepared to meet the opposition parties on their budget concerns.
Acting tourism minister, Iraffan Ali, responding to the AFC’s proposal to cut the employment allocation in the tourism budget, said it would see more than 50 percent of the contracted staff of the ministry out of a job immediately and stymie Guyana’s ability to meet international standards and regulations with the development of laboratories.
The AFC motion comes up for consideration on Wednesday when discussions on the estimates of expenditure begin.