Jamaica ready to help Guyana become ‘strongest destination of the future’

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By Fareeza Haniff

fareeza@newsroom.gy

Jamaica’s tourism sector remains one of the strongest in the region and the country stands ready to help Guyana become a successful tourist destination.

This is according to the island’s Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett, who told the News Room recently that “Jamaica stands ready to work with Guyana in this effort to creating perhaps this newest, strongest destination of the future.”

Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett

Pointing out that Guyana’s booming oil and gas sector is an “important addition” to the country’s economy, Bartlett believes the country is ready for a different type of tourism.

“Tourism is about people travelling for various reasons, one of which is for work, to find new ways of extending creativity and to indulge in knowledge exploits.

“So, I think Guyana is now ready for a different type of tourism and perhaps Jamaica might be able to help, we’re partners,” the Tourism Minister said.

He emphasised that Jamaica does not seek to compete with Guyana in the tourism sector.

“The recovery is not about competitiveness, it’s about co-petitiveness. And we have to find a way to co-pete and to work with each other and to use the assets of each other to enhance the global good of tourism in the Caribbean,” Bartlett noted.

Meanwhile, the President of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA), Nicola Madden-Greig also urged Guyana to forge strong public/private sector collaboration as it builds out the tourism industry.

She emphasised that the business of tourism should never be a political issue “but a whole country initiative.”

I think that’s one of the things that has been very successful for Jamaica…various ministers and changes in administrations, we’ve always been focused on what is best for the industry.

“Having a clear understanding of the vision – where you want to go, what are the markets you’re focusing on – and then ensuring that you coalescing together around that,” Madenn-Greig told the News Room.

President of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA), Nicola Madden-Greig

She also advised that Guyana increase its airlift capacity and improve its infrastructure.

“Sometimes we see a big uptick in our arrivals and then we don’t have the infrastructure to match so then there are challenges in terms of the visitors’ experience.

“So, looking at infrastructure development in line with also tourism development. Tourism is an economic driver and it brings together manufacturing, agriculture, the creative industries and other aspects of the society.”

According to the CHTA President, Guyana has a lot of natural resources and beauty it can hone in to create a successful tourism industry.

Jamaica is one of few countries in the world whose tourism sector has fully recovered from the COVID-19 pandemic and now the island is on a path to expansion and is set to rake in some US$5 billion in foreign exchange earnings in 2025.

The Jamaica Tourist Board estimates some 3.8 million visitors by the end of this year with gross foreign exchange earnings of US$4.2 billion.

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