Oil revenue can radically transform tourism in Guyana – stakeholders say

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A tourist takes a picture at the world-renowned Kaieteur Falls in Guyana. (Photo by Howard McCormick)

Tourism Stakeholders in Guyana believe that revenues from oil production could potentially advance the tourism sector, making the South American country one of the most talked about destinations in the world.

This was the highlight of a Tourism, Oil and Gas forum held at the Regency Suites on Thursday, November 1 in Georgetown, Guyana.

Addressing the forum, Minister of Business, Dominic Gaskin, said he has always recognized the need for more resources to be pumped into the tourism sector. To this end, he called on stakeholders to do more and capitalize on the opportunities that are coming to the country as a result of the emerging oil and gas sector.

He pointed to the influx of persons that will be coming to the country and how tourism can be redefined to cater to these visitors.

“We are hearing more about Guyana. More and more people know where Guyana is. People are coming to Guyana and they are coming to Guyana because they see Guyana as a land of opportunities. So, that has a currency that can be exploited for tourism purposes,” Mr. Gaskin pointed out.

Meanwhile, President of the Guyana Oil and Gas Energy Chamber (GOGEC), Manniram Prashad called for more to be done in the area of health and sports tourism. “This is the way that successfully developed countries, which have built their economies, using oil and gas resources, have been able to catalyze development across sectors.”

Director of the Guyana Oil and Gas Association (GOGA), Nigel Hughes pointed to the need for better infrastructure so as to maintain a competitive tourism industry. “One of the serious challenges that tourism suffers is the lack of infrastructure and the cost to get to where the primary locations are for tourism. That can only be addressed by heavy investment in infrastructure.”

The forum was organized by the Ministry of Business and also saw participation from ExxonMobil Guyana. The company is operator in the Stabroek Block offshore the South American country where it has to date made 9 discoveries amounting to well over 4 billion recoverable barrels of oil.

Oil production is set to begin in Guyana in less than 24 months with the 120,000 bpd Liza Phase 1 Development and by 2025 an estimated five developments could be on stream generating around 750,000 barrels of oil per day.

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