By Tracey Khan – Drakes
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Chairman of the Roraima Group of Companies, Captain Gerald ‘Gerry’ Gouveia believes the average US$500,000 to US$700,000 which the Government is pumping into the local tourism sector annually is inadequate to fuel its growth.
During a press conference on Wednesday, July 02 to deal with the challenges being experienced by Dynamic Airways, Captain Gouveia explained that the sector needs approximately US$3 million more to grow and become self-sufficient.
He told media operatives that many international tour operators are continuously looking for new destinations; however, Guyana is still widely unknown which prevents it from tapping into this lucrative market.
“I would say that maybe 90 percent of the people in the world out of 7 billion people don’t even know we exist, we have not been marketing Guyana as a country, Jamaica is spending $100 billion to market Jamaica,” Gouveia stated.
He believes Guyana needs to have an international marketing trawler that will work specifically on its image and market it on an international stage.
“Before I came here I had a meeting with an international company that is talking about branding international strategy for Guyana with the logo and tag line and so,” he divulged.
Gouveia says he has been pushing the administration, particularly the Ministry of Tourism to improve its marketing programme “because you cannot improve tourism or improve the image of Guyana if you don’t spend the money on marketing and Government has to come to grips with the fact that you cannot market Guyana on US$500,000 if you don’t have US$2 or US$3 million to start with.”
He pointed out too that the Tourism Minister needs more support; explaining that he is competing with other sectors, including sugar and rice that are important, however, “we need to throw our weight behind him so that when he gets to Cabinet he can fight Ashni Singh to give him more money for marketing Guyana that is what we need. We need the Government to put more money in marketing if we want to get that Marriott full we have to have more marketing, that new airport is all a part of that process but to move Guyana forward that is what we need to do spend more money on marketing.”