First Lady leads discussion on tourism development in Georgetown
First Lady Arya Ali, on Thursday met with representatives from the Tourism and Hospitality Association of Guyana (THAG) and Seawalls and Beyond, to solicit ideas and offer support for the development of tourism in Georgetown.
The meetings were attended by First Lady Arya Ali, President of THAG, Mr. Mitra Ramkumar and representatives of Seawalls and Beyond, Mr. Dwayne Hackett, Mr. Darrell Carpenay, Savita Balkaran, Carl Melville, and Ron Smith.
Mr. Ramkumar shared that the tourism industry continues to struggle amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, since the country’s airports remain closed.
However, he said that efforts are being made during this time on the part of THAG and other local tourism bodies to strengthen the local tourism capacity by developing tourist hubs around the city.
One area identified as a potential hotspot for tourists is the seawalls, which has been given much attention over the last few weeks, after local group, Seawalls and Beyond, embarked on a major restoration project.
The First Lady was informed by both groups that some of the immediate challenges which need to be addressed are: improved solid waste disposal; improved policing of the area; improved lighting; regularization of vending; and the introduction of a freshwater source.
Having been made aware of these challenges, Ali committed to engaging the relevant authorities and agencies to have them addressed.
“We will immediately commence and facilitate discussions with agencies like the Georgetown City Council, the Guyana Police Force and relevant Ministries to see how best we can develop workable solutions to these problems,” the First Lady said.
Beyond the seawalls, she highlighted that her National Beautification Project will rely on scenic conservation to safeguard the scenic qualities of Guyana’s roadways, urban spaces, and countryside; while simultaneously creating a more environmentally-friendly society.
She explained that plans are currently underway by her office to identify spaces for eco-friendly parks in each administrative region, and to embark on an ongoing national tree planting exercise.
To complement these efforts, the First Lady also articulated her vision of improving local culture by providing support for the creative and performing arts.
“One of the things that I wish to facilitate is the reintroduction of the performing arts at the Seawall Bandstand. This will not only support the creative industry, but provide economic opportunities,” she said, adding this will be replicated in other areas. (Office of the First Lady)