by Zena Henry
The recently appointed Tourism Minister, Catherine Hughes is set to embark on a major marketing drive for Guyana away from the images of crime, violence and a dirty capital.
She believes that the country needs an, “entire public relations,” campaign as the country is still unknown to many parts of the world.
More than that, Hughes wants the country to provide adequate training for those securing a career in the Tourism industry.
The Minister, following her swearing in at the Ministry of the Presidency Wednesday May 20, told a reporters that her first priority is to market Guyana as a destination since it is something that the country has been unable to do adequately.
Hughes said that Guyana is still unknown to many parts of the world and, “therefore that is an area we need to expand on.”
She said that the private sector has contributed endlessly to the economic development of the country and a thriving tourism sector would ensure revenue and development.
As it relates to marketing the country, Hughes said that the nation is battling a negative image which must be redesigned as that has been a major humbug in getting foreigners to come to the country.
“This negative image is in relation to gun crime, violent crimes, interpersonal violence, robbery and of course the cleanliness of the city.”
Hughes stressed that the cleanliness of the country also plays a major role in tourism development. She expressed delight that the new government has already started the drive to clean the city commencing with upper Georgetown and the restoration of the Independence Arch as a symbol of restoring national pride.
Hughes urged all Guyanese to come on board to restore the city commencing with the restoration of their communities.
She noted that a new movement and energy have taken over and requested all Guyanese to take the cleanliness of their environment as a personal issue.
Hughes said that as Minister and a former President of the Tourism Association of Guyana (THAG), she is aware of the work needed in this area and will be collaborating with more established tourism destinations for experience and expertise.
She said one exciting area is multi- destination tourism where travellers can come to Guyana and hop over to neighbouring countries. She said, “Guyana’s strategically, offers so many possibilities.”
Guyana is a member of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO).