By Isaiah Braithwaite
GEORGETOWN, Guyana, (DPI) – Guyana and Barbados are working to create a joint tourism product, linking the two countries as a common market and package, president Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali disclosure at the launch of the Explore Guyana Magazine on Thursday.
The head of state said while that is being finalised, the two countries are already advancing the conversation to further sell the tourism products of both countries.
“Let’s say you are coming to Barbados, and you are staying for a day, then let us see how we can get you to Kaieteur, let us see how we can get you to the Rupununi. That is the type of strategic conversation that is going on at the policy level and that all of you will be included when we get to the stage of finalising the finer details of how this will work,” the president said.
He also made the point that Guyana cannot be sold from Guyana. He said the brand of Guyana has to be recognisable across the world. With that, he said the country’s brand spans beyond just eco-tourism.
“We have every single requirement that every future brand of tourism that is targeted must have and with the type of investment that is coming in we are getting better facilities. Every single facility in this country, this year, they are recapitalising. They are spending monies on upgrades, expansion, improvement, every single facility without an exception.”
President Ali said money has been set aside in budget 2022 for the imaging and branding of Guyana.
“We have discussed with Barbados the setting up of a Guyana food terminal and our gold market working with Barbados together. When the cruise liners come in there is tremendous potential if we have a duty-free gold market. So, while we are working on that, we have to look at Miami National Airport, JFK, we have to look at the UK to see how strategic it is in branding,” the president stated.
Dr Ali said while it will carry a cost, it is what must be done if Guyana is to get a head of the competition. He said the country does not have the luxury of time to work along the normal pathway to achieve the development government envisions.
However, president Ali said it must be done the right way adding that where the capacity is lacking, it will be outsourced. He said there must be a bridging period that not only allows Guyana to achieve the target but also build the capacity locally that is required for Guyana’s new economy.