The Government is hoping that the hospitality institute for which US $4M is made available in the 2014 National Budget, will be a good revenue earner, in addition to building local capacity in the tourism and hospitality sector.
Speaking to media operatives at a press conference today at Office of the President, President Donald Ramotar said that the services offered by an institution such as this could attract a lot of people from within the region, and even further afield; thereby generating revenue.
Tourism is one of the sectors in which Guyana has a strong comparative advantage given its vast and diverse endowment of nature, geographical location, and the advantage of a large market in the Diaspora.
“With all these developments on the horizon, the tourism industry is poised to be a major driver of growth and job creation in Guyana looking ahead,” Minister of Finance Dr Ashni Singh said during the Budget presentation on March 24.
Guyana’s tourism sector has grown exponentially over the past 10 years, and the establishment of a hospitality institute will ensure that the country improves its human resource capabilities within the sector; producing world class personnel to meet the kind of demands that a growing industry beckons. Last year, in an effort to build capacity, a total of 442 industry personnel were trained in a number of areas including customer service, frontline, housekeeping, kitchen procedures and community based tourism.
In 2013, Guyana was named one of the three countries in the Caribbean to record a double digit growth with a 13.3 percent increase in arrivals. According to the Guyana Tourism Authority’s records, last year, there was an average of 2,630 tourists per month. This year, a 15 percent increase in arrival is projected and to this end, several Familiarisation Trips and other activities are planned to attract more visitors.
Destination Guyana has attracted prominent film and television producers in recent years, resulting in the filming of a number of documentaries in 2013 which will be aired this year.