Guyana: Government says oil and gas sector could influence growth of tourism industry

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Guyana: Government says oil and gas sector could influence growth of tourism industry
Business Minister Dominic Gaskin
Business Minister Dominic Gaskin

(CMC) – A senior Guyana government minister says the revenues expected from the new oil and gas sector will form the catalyst for the growth of a number of industries, including tourism.

Business Minister Dominic Gaskin told a forum on oil and gas and tourism that successful oil discoveries have put Guyana on the map and revenues from the new industry could help the tourism sector reach its full potential.

“More and more people know where Guyana is. People are coming to Guyana and they are coming to Guyana because they see Guyana as a land of opportunity. So, that has a currency that can be exploited for tourism purposes,” Gaskin said.

He also reiterated the David Granger government’s position that it will not become dependent on oil and gas at the expense of other industries.

“Once oil is produced, we know that there will be revenues going to government that are fairly substantial and that gives the government an opportunity, not just to spend money, but also to plan with confidence secure in the knowledge that our long-term national plan can be funded.”

Director General of the Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA), Donald Sinclair said the forum was intended to provide a “structured reflection” on the impact of oil and gas on tourism.

“What today’s forum attempts to do is to understand and explore some of the options available to a growing and developing sector in Guyana, the tourism sector,” Sinclair said.

Operators and stakeholders in the oil and gas industry were also briefed by the chief executive officer of the Guyana Office for Investment (GO-Invest), Owen Verwey, who identified the challenges the sector faces and encouraged operators to utilise the opportunities to sell their products during international events hosted in Guyana.

The drector of the Guyana Oil and Gas Association (GOGA), Nigel Hughes, called for the development of infrastructure in the industry while the chairman of the Private Sector Commission (PSC), Desmond Sears, noted the advent of the oil and gas industry provided a great opportunity for tourism development.

The forum on Thursday also heard from the chair of the Guyana Oil and Gas Energy Chambers (GOCEC), Manniram Prashad, on how they can capitalise on the current influx of business tourism that the country is experiencing.

The forum is the first in a series of activities planned by the GTA and the Department of Tourism in observance of Tourism Month which is being observed under the theme “Promoting sustainability and celebrating diversity”.

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