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EDITORIAL: Unfolding of a new tourism partnership

marciadottin, [email protected]

EDITORIAL: Unfolding of a new tourism partnership

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IT SHOULD NOT?come as A surprise that chairman of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), Senator Richard Skerritt, has lost little time in warmly welcoming an offer by the Guyana government to make land available to the regional body for the building and management of a Caribbean Sustainable Tourism Development Institute.
The offer by Guyana’s Minister of Tourism Irfaan Ali was made at the CTO’s Council of Ministers meeting during Caribbean Week activities in New York last week.
These actions were consistent with the spirit of deliberations and conclusions that emerged from last April’s 13th Annual Caribbean Conference on Sustainable Tourism hosted by Guyana at its International Conference Centre.
As chairman of CTO, Skerritt, who is St Kitts and Nevis Minister of Tourism and International Transport, has been generally forthcoming in commending Guyana’s commitment “to the protection and sustainable use of its natural resources”, more so now “as a leader on the world stage in the global fight against the vast extremes of climate change.”
It was against that positive approach for the future that Guyana’s offer of land and willingness to facilitate related assistance for the building and management of the institute was made.
The plan is to link the institute to a state-of-the art eco-tourism resort with a view to combining theoretical training with practical experience for students. The project will be located on ten to 15 acres of land along the East Bank Demerara south of the capital, Georgetown.
Major Caribbean tourism destinations that are vital members of the CTO, would clearly wish to maintain a keen interest in the unfolding partnership between Guyana and the regional body, headquartered here in Barbados, to ensure that the institute proves the worthwhile project it is intended to be in blending vision with reality.
Exuding confidence and enthusiasm, Skerritt disclosed that a technical working group is to be established to move forward with the project as soon as possible. He commended the “generous fiscal incentives” and other relevant support announced by Guyana for the institute to take shape.
As was the mood at the CTO conference last?April, indications from the New York meeting further pointed to a new or more clearly defined strategy to take advantage of the Caribbean’s acclaimed natural assets and rich cultural heritage in more effectively marketing this region as a preferred tourism destination.