Guyana was projected to grow by 5% in 2014 according to The United Nations. This was due to several factors. First, its development of sanitation services and drinking water access with investment of G$2.4 billion, since between 50-70% of water used is unaccounted for at national level. Second, its development of electricity system with investment of G$5.0 billion. Third, the fact that Guyana’s Cabinet approved financial support of G$57 million from the Eastern Caribbean (St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Dominican Republic). Third, the Japan-Guyana Sign Grant Agreement, a US$4 million grant aid agreement for the second component of the rehabilitation of the East Demerara Water Conservancy aimed at strengthening Guyana’s response to climate change. Regarding tourism investment, from January to July 2014, nine new and continuing projects were undertaken. The total value of the investment ranging from hotels to airlines was G$9.8 billion. Jags Aviation recently added a new Cessna Caravan to its fleet. This boosted the seating capacity of the local airlines and added a new level of comfort and luxury. A consequence of these projects was that 200 people will soon be hired. Furthermore, Guyana continued to receive international recognition and several new documentaries were completed over the year. These added to the major publications featuring the country. They usually highlight several aspects of the growing tourism industry. Guyana was also featured in several renowned magazines eg National Geographic. This is expected to boost lodging and travel modes in the forecast period.
Guyana’s Tourism Minister and Argentina’s Ambassador to Guyana are planning a series of initiatives aimed at deepening tourism cooperation. This will be within the framework of Guyana increasing its tourism presence in South and Latin America. This strategic collaboration targets improvements to Guyana’s infrastructure, flights, air capacity and training for tourism participants in order to exploit Guyana’s tremendous tourism potential. This will firstly increase arrivals from Argentina, and will slowly transfer this increase to lodging, activities and booking for the forecast period. In fact, Argentina’s Tourism Ministry already approved financing for a three-phase project that will include a visit with two Guyana Tourism Authority representatives in Argentina. Other potential areas of cooperation between the two players could include student exchange programmes, trade shows and private sector exchange.
The Ministry of Tourism is projecting a 15% increase in tourist arrivals in 2015 and scheduled several FAM (familiarisation) trips. Tourism is very important for showcasing a country’s cultural diversity, as well as its socio-economic potential. With the attention “Destination Guyana” is receiving, there is no doubt that tourism will increase in 2015. In 2014, tourism industry, through a series of activities, experienced great advances in promoting Guyana as a prime tourist destination. The activities provided perfect opportunities for thousands of tourists and locals to experience the country’s rich, diverse culture. Guyana is internationally recognised as a viable eco-tourism destination, as well as a bird-watching sanctuary. The country was already featured in many British Broadcasting Corporation’s (BBC) programmes in these two areas (eco-tourism and bird-watching). In addition, the 2014 International British Bird Watching Fair, held in Rutland, England, had over 35 international bird-watching companies selling Guyana. At the Fair, there were 20 international birding companies selling “Destination Guyana”, since bird-watching is a very common cultural activity in the UK.
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