By Jomo Paul
[www.inewsguyana.com] –President Donald Ramotar has said that Atlantic Hotels Incorporated (AHI) is poised to be Guyana’s largest tax contributor in the Tourism sector given the opening of the controversial Marriott International Hotel.
AHI is a state-run company that owns the Guyana Marriott which after much sets backs and false starts was officially commissioned on Thursday April 16 in Kingstown Georgetown.
Ramotar made the comment at the reception gala to mark Marriott’s opening noting that he is profoundly upbeat about the possibilities that will be made available for the Guyanese people with the opening of the Marriott.
According to Ramotar, tourists will now flock to Guyana given that the Marriot brand is internationally recognized and has the confidence of the population across the world.
“The number of persons looking to visit Guyana knowing that we have a global brand like Marriott will increase; indeed the Marriott marketing brand will promote Guyana and this hotel. I expect as our economy continues to grow, more international brands, more Marriotts will be built. This project represents part of an integrated strategy to improve our travel and tourism sector,” President Ramotar said.
He also pointed to the opening of a Hospitality School in Guyana noting that the service standard, which is something that Guyana has been struggling with over the year, will increase dramatically.
“The service standards of the industry can be expected to rise. We can expect increased training and commitment to service as a result of Marriott setting the standard. We can also expect continued investment by other hotels in improving their rooms and other amenities. Our capacity to host events/conferences will be considerably expanded, and this will spill over to all users of the hospitality sector,” the President posited.
The President noted that these initiatives will be bolstered with the expansion of Guyana’s hospitality sector. Ramotar made the point that several of Guyana’s core economic sectors will benefit from the Marriott.
“Hopefully Exxon’s US$200 million well will provide positive results by next month. Others are expected to drill soon, such as Repsol and CGX,” he remarked.
Ramotar also pointed out that the Marriott will soon add an entertainment complex that will include a casino, a night club and a restaurant.
The luxury hotel brags of 197 guest rooms and suites that offer views of the ocean at every turn. Its Ballroom has the capacity to accommodate between 400 – 700 persons at any time subject to the arrangements. Marriott employs some 230 Guyanese.