The government of Guyana is committed to prioritising the development of Guyana’s tourism sector. Minister of Business with the responsibility of Tourism, Dominic Gaskin said that the tourism sector of the country has the potential to make a major contribution to the “Good Life” that the government has promised Guyanese.
The Minister was at the time speaking at the launch of EUROPCAR GUYANA, collaboration between Europe Car Suriname and Wilderness Explorers, at the Woodbine Room, Cara Lodge Hotel, Quamina Street, Georgetown.
Minister of Business, Dominic Gaskin
Minister Gaskin pointed out that the direction of tourism in Guyana has become clearer over the last few years and a sustainable Tourism model will be embraced. “There’s a clearer sense of what Guyana’s tourism industry should grow up to become. As many of you know the year 2017 has been designated the United Nations International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development with the aim of increasing public awareness of the importance of international tourism in appreciating and understanding different cultures”, the tourism Minister said.
The Minister however noted that apart from building bridges and promoting world peace, sustainable tourism also embodies a new regard for the environment and the society and the economy of the place that the tourist is visiting and this can have a positive effect on developing countries at many levels.
Minister Gaskin said that the purpose of tourism cannot simply be to provide a “venue for fun and frolic” by persons with whom we have very little in common. He noted that this can no longer be sustainable in the world in which we live today.
The Tourism Minister commended the two companies for taking the plunge into the unchartered waters of the Guyana car rental business. The Minister said that he believes that this particular venture is intended to bring a more standard version of the business to Guyana.
“There are always challenges to overcome when one tries to introduce new concepts into the marketplace or into a regulatory environment that might not easily accommodate them”, the Minister said.
Tourists have changed and have become a lot more aware and want to be even more aware of the people who inhabit the places they visit. This venture is a good opportunity for persons to visit Lethem and other Indigenous communities enjoying the scenery at their own pace and all other wonders Guyana has to offer, Minister Gaskin said.
The Tourism and Hospitality Association of Guyana (THAG) President Andrea De Caires said that the association supports this initiative. She said that it is difficult to book Guyana and also travel around the country at your pace. De Caires noted that with this new venture citizens and tourists “all over the world, can travel more and can go anywhere they want to; stop where they want to stop, see what they want to see”.
EUROPCAR Guyana is a new and exclusive car rental service brought to Guyana by company T-Net, owned and operated by EUROPCAR Suriname for the last 11 years. EUROPCAR was birthed in Paris, France, in 1949 and now operates in approximately 140 countries, covering Europe, North America and South America, Asia and Africa.
Former THAG President, Sean McGrath said that some the vehicles provided are brand new or less than two years old and the service offers a unique opportunity for travellers, both local and international to secure an affordable European car rental, while travelling around the country and even as far as Suriname. The service will be provided on a ‘drive yourself basis’, or a chauffeur can be provided by EUROPCAR.
Bringing EUROPCAR to Guyana is a novel experience, and though not targeting exclusively tourists or the diaspora, it ideally equips and fortifies Guyana’s eco-tourism sector, with the kind of motor equipment, equal to the task of traversing the rugged hinterland terrain or other such challenges, McGrath said.