[www.inewsguyana.com] – President of the Tourism and Hospitality Association of Guyana (THAG), Kit Nacimento says that the Association is no longer in financial trouble, thanks to the active sponsorship and support of the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company (GT&T).
In his Annual General Meeting (AGM) 2014 report, Nacimento stated that when he took office in August 2013, THAG’s net current balance was $329,198.
This has since improved. “…today, as we speak, its $3,193,609. THAG is now in a considerably better financial position than it has been for some time but, still, insufficiently financed to fully carry out its mandate.”
He further noted that throughout the year, THAG met on a regular basis with the Minister of Tourism, the Director of the Guyana Tourism Authority and with the staff of the Ministry and the Authority.
“We have pursued a consistent and strong lobby with our government for legislative action favourable to the industry and for government to invest in a marketing programme for Guyana.”
He further noted, “We have worked closely with the Private Sector Commission in advocating the legislation of incentives for inclusion in our budget essential to make our industry competitive.” At our President’s Awards Dinner, I spoke strongly and frankly in support of the recommendations made in the Cecil Miller Report, a Report from a Consultant engaged by the government.
He said THAG has urged legislation providing a preferred rate of VAT be applied to hotels and tourism resorts in line with preferred treatment which our competitors across the Caribbean, Central and South America enjoy.
“Though we were disappointed that our recommendations were not reflected in this year’s budget, both the President and the Minister of Tourism have since given public undertakings to implement these incentives.”
Meanwhile, he explained that at a recent meeting with Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment, Robert Persaud, THAG expressed its growing concern over the environmental damage being done to the Cuyuni, Mazaruni and Essequibo Rivers by gold mining and the appalling garbage strewn state of Bartica’s waterfront and streets.
“To the credit of the Minister and his staff, we were advised in writing that the EPA, in collaboration with the GGMC and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) are implementing a detailed water quality assessment of the Cuyuni River, part of an ecological and physico-chemical assessment of the Cuyauni/Mazaruni/Konawaruk River Basin commencing this month.”
Additionally, THAG is planning the International Yacht Rally to be hosted in Bartica next week. In this regard, the Ministry of Tourism and Hurakabra River Resort will be jointly holding a Grand Beach Party at Hurakabra on Sunday September 14 as one of the events for the Rally. River transportation will be provided.