A sod turning ceremony occurred on Wednesday morning in Guyana at a Providence, East Bank Demerara site earmarked for the construction of a US$32 million Hyatt Place Georgetown hotel.
The project, adding to a long line of hotels coming to the new oil producing South American country to meet growing demand, is coming from SIR Investments Inc., an investor from Trinidad and Tobago.
Chair of the sod turning ceremony, Debbie Persaud, said the hotel will include different guest room options, disability outfitted rooms, restaurants and bars, meeting rooms, a social lounge, fitness centers, pools, internet and communication links, room service and guest laundry, along with spacious parking areas.
The government, represented by several officials at the ceremony, said it is grateful for the job creation potential of this investment.
“The 125-room hotel will be situated on approximately 3 acres of prime land on this location, creating employment for approximately 300 persons during the 20-month construction phase,” SIR Chairman, Imtiaz Ahamad said.
“At the time of opening, we expect another 80-100 people to be fully employed, and without a doubt, and you can remember I said this today, without a doubt, there will be opportunities for local partnerships, partnerships which will result in huge dividends for the country and for the people of Guyana,” he said.
Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, Oneidge Walrond expects that much of the employment opportunities that will come from the construction and operationalization of the hotel will be provided to Guyanese persons residing on the East Bank of Demerara.
“In a matter of days, this location will be a job site… The construction of this hotel is expected to create up to 300 jobs, and we expect that much of that workforce will come from right here in the surrounding communities on the lower East Bank,” she said. “Once in operation, the facility is expected to employ 70-80 persons, once again, many of whom we expect to come from right here in the vicinity of the hotel.”
Guyana’s Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh was gratuitous in his remarks, as he noted that there is a growing demand for hotel rooms.
“I wish to thank you very much for recognizing Guyana’s tremendous potential as a destination for investment… It’s an open secret that international visitors coming to Guyana can’t find a hotel room….,” he said.
Demand for room is being pushed upward because of the growth of oil and gas, and significant activity in non-oil investments being fuelled by interest in oil industry. Mr. Singh said Guyana has a large captive expatriate population. He said that that population, as well as visitors to a growing tourism industry, are responsible for this demand.
On the same day, Guyana’s President Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali hailed the investment in a Facebook post, as it will increase Guyana’s accommodation capacity.
Guyana’s mid-year report, which documented the economy’s performance in the first half of the year, said that the construction of 20 hotels is on track this year, and are expected to increase accommodation capacity by about 3,450 rooms.
“This has surpassed the initial target of six new hotels and an additional 1,000 rooms. Further, construction …commenced for five of these hotels during the first half of the year, while eight hotels should commence construction during the third quarter, and seven are anticipated in the fourth quarter,” the report said.