Tourism enhancement plan for Guyana

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, February 28, 2008 – It’s not a major foreign exchange earner for Guyana but the tourism industry has been allocated GUY$300 million (US$1.47 million) in government’s 2008 national budget to enhance the sector.

The money will be used to upgrade infrastructural facilities including venues that will be used for the upcoming 10th Caribbean Festival of the Arts (CARIFESTA X) expected to generate considerable activity for the domestic tourism industry.

“CARIFESTA X is expected to be the cultural highlight of the Caribbean when it is held in August and will provide an excellent opportunity for Guyana to solidify its image as a tourist destination in the region,” a government release indicated, adding that the event was also expected to generate further economic activity in several other sectors.

The statement noted that Guyana’s hosting of the Cricket World Cup 2007 games at the newly constructed Providence Stadium had paved the way for Guyana to embark on Sports tourism and the government would build on that progress.

“In the promotion of this aspect the Government has allocated GUY$259 (US$1.27 million) for the construction of an Olympic sized swimming pool, rehabilitation of the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall and the National Gymnasium, upgrading the Colgrain Pool, and the purchase of sports gear and equipment,” the release stated.

In last year’s budget, the Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA) received GUY$65.6 million (US$322,834) to promote and market Guyana as a unique tourist destination.

The government said it plans to target the nature based tourist markets where emphasis will be placed on niche sectors such as yachting, birding, and eco-tourism.