Guyana’s National Tourism Policy Awaiting Cabinet Approval!

The Ministry of Business, Tourism Department has drafted a National Tourism Policy to guide and improve the local tourism sector. Minister of Business, Dominic Gaskin, in a recent interview with the Department of Public Information (DPI), said while the policy has not yet been approved by the cabinet; the Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA) has been adhering to the policy’s action plan, since 2016, as it conducts its various programmes.

The minister explained that the policy is a comprehensive document which covers several areas that ‘will guide and enhance the sector’. He noted emphasis will be placed on human resources, and training will be done to improve the local service industry, to bring it on par with other developed countries.

“Training is an important component of what the GTA does. Last year they would have trained hundreds of persons from various establishments in different aspects of the tourism services”, Gaskin highlighted. He added that the policy will also focus on developing new activities in the country, investment, and marketing of industries in the tourism sector.

The national tourism policy is expected to guide the leisure industry for the next two decades. During the 2018 budget debate, it was highlighted by Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan that growth in the tourism sector for 2017 had increased by a 5.7 percent when compared to 2016. A total of 170,322 was recorded for visitor arrivals between the months of January to September 2017.

According to Minister Jordan, as the economy undergoes rapid developments in the coming years; additional visits stemming from the hosting of international exhibitions, conferences, and shows, will stimulate growth in the hospitality subsector and the wider tourism sector.