Last Updated on Wednesday, 4 November 2020, 20:37 by Denis Chabrol
More than 30 entities have submitted Expressions of Interest (EOI) to construct hotels in Guyana, with at least two of them eyeing the prospects of doing so near the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) as part of a plan to make the country a South American aviation hub, officials said Wednesday.
Aviation Minister Juan Edghill said government wants at least 2,000 “first class” hotel rooms “so that Guyana could become a convention destination” and a travel hub for regional travel, connecting the Caribbean with South America.
Mr. Edghill said already he was satisfied with the two proposals for the construction of the hotels near the airport located on the East Bank Demerara. “I must tell you I like what I see in those proposals,” he said at the installation of the Board of Directors of the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA).
Mr. Edghill said the two proposals, which were received from the Tourism Ministry, were being forwarded to the Chief Executive Officer of the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA), Ramesh Ghir.
Tourism Minister, Oneidge Walrond declined to say who have submitted EOI as government first has to assess them. “The proposals are being evaluated; discussions with the companies would follow and once completed , the successful ones will be fully disclosed,” she said.
The deadline for the submission of EOIs was November 2, 2020.
Usually, the process entails a shortlisting of the proposals and the entities would then be expected to submit formal bids to the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board (NPTAB).
Guyana’s large hotels are the Marriott Georgetown, Pegasus Hotel, and Princess Ramada.
The Aviation Minister said as part of plans to make Guyana an aviation hub, the Public Works Ministry’s Chief Transport Planner, Patrick Thompson was in Lethem to advance plans to upgrade the Lethem aerodrome to another small international airport similar to the Eugene F’ Correia International Airport. Mr. Edghill said Mr. Thompson was finalising the design and programme for the modernise that aerodrome. “We must bring Lethem from an airstrip into a regional airport. We could duplicate Ogle at Lethem,” he said.
Minister Edghill envisaged travellers to Brazil landing at Lethem with connecting flights to the neighbouring Portuguese-speaking economic and political powerhouse.
He said investors have also approached government to develop the airstrips at Orealla and Linden.