Speaking to a capacity audience on Friday evening at the Revealed Word Christian Centre in Kitty, Georgetown, Director of Guyana’s Department of Energy (DE), Dr. Mark Bynoe told those gathered that winning a contract is not the only way to benefit from the growing opportunities in the emerging oil and gas sector.
In fact, Dr. Bynoe pointed out that most of the job and investment opportunities that oil will bring to the South American country lies in spin-off services that support the offshore operations. He warned however, that if Guyanese are to fully benefit from the growing opportunities the industry is already providing, a “total culture shift” is needed that will see a change in mindset and attitudes.
Pointing out that investment opportunities exist in a number of areas such as the provision of hotel accommodation services, he said elevating standards is key to capturing the new wave of visitors flocking to the country.
A shortage of quality hotels, he said, is a reality, “but it is also an opportunity that those who are willing to make the investment, can make the investment.” He pointed out that having the “fanciest of hotels” is not always necessary, since a large clientele exists for the use of Airbnb-type services – referring to an online marketplace that arrange lodging, primarily homestays, or tourism experiences.
The DE Director told those gathered that this provides an opportunity for them to begin generating revenue “but you first have to lift your standards. You have to ensure that it is secure, you have to ensure it is tidy and when someone says to you; ‘madam you know the water was a little cold’ you don’t say; ‘so what you want me to do’. That will not work.”
A new approach is absolutely necessary he said, adding; “when we speak about a total culture shift; it’s the way we speak, the way we act, the way we think, the way we behave, because it is something that we maybe have never been exposed to and now we have to change. We cannot be crying that other people getting the jobs if we are not putting ourselves in position.”
The event saw the participation of dozens of church members and other invitees. It is part of an ongoing series of community outreaches being conducted by the Department of Energy to raise awareness about oil and gas and to answer questions and address concerns raised by attendees.