‘Long overdue’ tourism licensing clinic held
The first tourism business licensing clinic was held on Wednesday at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre, Greater Georgetown and according to tourism businesses it is long overdue.
Before the clinic, businesses were subjected to visiting several agencies individually to get certified and licensed.
“We think it is a great initiative and it is long overdue because it actually puts us in touch with these agencies that we need to go through to get certified,” Francesca Pires, co-owner of the Waikin Ranch in Region Nine told the News Room.
She explained that it was a hassle to visit each agency. The licenses expire at the end of each year and businesses are required to renew them to continue operating in the sector.
“You’re dealing with different people at different times and you were not really getting any solid, formal feedback or anything; so it was frustrating,” Pires stated as she welcomed the initiative to have all the agencies together in one place.
Director of the Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA), Kamrul Baksh, said apart from addressing licensing matters within the tourism and hospitality sector, the clinic will also address queries and questions from businesses.
“And, of course, commencing the processing of the paperwork and potentially putting businesses and individuals on payment plans to address the fees of those payments,” the GTA Director said.
Several agencies to address various aspects of licensing and permits such as the Environmental Protection Agency, the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CHPA), the Maritime Administration, the National Insurance Scheme, Guyana Revenue Authority, the Guyana Lands and Survey, GoInvest and the Guyana Fire Service were present at the clinic.
“Businesses that are new to the industry can come out and have a sense of what is required; also businesses in the industry would also find this beneficial because everybody is under a singular roof to address their matters,” Baksh stated.
Recognising that is it costly for tourism businesses in Region Nine to travel to Georgetown, Baksh said another clinic will be held in that region in late February.