Local tourism enjoys record growth
Director of the Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA) Brian Mullis and the Minister of Business Haimraj Rajkumar on Wednesday cited new statistics which show record levels of growth in the tourism sector.
At a press conference held at the GTA office at the Sophia Exhibition site, Mullis said tourism as a sector injected approximately $62.6 billion directly into Guyana’s economy in 2018.
“The total contribution of travel tourism to Guyana’s GDP in 2018 would have been 7.9 per cent, which is fairly significant and that drives directly an approximate 8,500 jobs of direct employment,” he stated.
In terms of indirect employment, Mullis said an estimated 22,000 persons are currently working in the industry. This, he said, is according to data from the World Tourism and Travel Council
The revelation came just months after the country was declared the No.1 Eco-tourism and sustainable tourism destination in the world.
“Tourism is on an upswing here in Guyana.
“Last year, we welcomed 287,732 international visitors.
“…of those, there was a 21percent increase in travellers coming to Guyana just for leisure purposes – just for tourism this equated to just about 183,639 individuals.”
Data gathered in 2019 for the period of January- May shows a 9.2 per cent increase in international arrivals.
The News Room learnt that Guyana could see its number of overseas visitors increase to 500,000 by the year 2025 based on current statistical trends for growth of people coming to Guyana from the year 2017 to now.
If this happens, it would represent a 100% increase where visitors are concerned.
The GTA has been working closely with the Guyana Bureau of Statistics to accurately record data from activity within the tourism sector.
Speaking on this activity was the Minister of Business.
“The tourism sector will continue to be a high priority sector for the Government of Guyana because we understand the value and transformative potential this important sector has on the quality of life of Guyanese.
“We can all view ourselves as ambassadors and be part of the marketing process of Guyana as a tourist destination,” Haimraj said.
The minister indicated that a significant amount of government spending within the sector went towards the development of the interior communities as a result of the increased interest from overseas travellers.
Guyana’s Green State Development Strategy has highlighted tourism as a priority value-adding sector that requires increased investment.