(GuyanaChronicle)IN the interest of ensuring its wider economic and social impact, subject minister Oneidge Walrond has stressed the need for re-defining tourism with an inclusive community focus in mind.
The minister conveyed the foregoing sentiments as she delivered remarks at a reception hosted by US Ambassador Sarah-Ann Lynch on Monday in celebration of World Tourism Day.
World Tourism Day is celebrated across the globe on 27 September.
This year, the event is being celebrated under the theme, “Re-thinking Tourism”, which, according to Minister Walrond, offers a framework for the reorienting of the future of tourism, particularly with inclusivity in mind.
“It is incumbent upon me to pause for a moment to speak a bit about our approach to inclusion; what it means, generally, and what it means in the context of tourism in particular,” she said.
The minister pointed to the government’s support of tourism development efforts in every single region of Guyana, and support of hundreds of small business owners from all sections of society as some of the ways in which it illustrates its inclusivity.
“I think it is incumbent upon me, especially in the face of persistent accusations leveled at us, to pause for a moment to speak a bit about our approach to inclusion.
With respect to social and economic development, for us, inclusion means that the services that we deliver and the programmes we implement must benefit all Guyanese. And this means all Guyanese, regardless of who they are, where they live, their ethnic origin, their political persuasion or any other characteristic by which anyone may seek to classify and compartmentalise us,” Minister Walrond said, adding:
“I should emphasise that our commitment to inclusion is manifested in our programmes in every sector: In education, in health, in agriculture, in tourism and all others. With respect to tourism, I wish to give you some insight into how our commitment to inclusion operates by making reference to our current hosting of the Caribbean Premier League. I think this actually serves as a very good example of how our approach to social and economic development places us on the cutting edge of Re-thinking Tourism as regards inclusion.”
The Government was instrumental in pursuing and supporting Guyana’s bid to host the finals of the much celebrated CPL, in addition to hosting a number of other matches being played by the national team, the Guyana Amazon Warriors.
“Pursuing this opportunity required courage and vision, for when we did so, the potential benefits were not apparent to most people. We, however, had our eyes firmly on the fundamentals of the situation. Our commitment to securing the rights to the CPL finals was part of our strategy for inclusive development,” Minister Walrond said.