Tourism sector welcoming new airlines

Tourism sector welcoming new airlines

Dynamic Airways, the newest airline to come onboard with Guyana arrived on Thursday on its inaugural flight, plying the route from the John F Kennedy Airport to the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA).

Speaking at a press conference at the Tourism Ministry’s South Road Office, Director of the Guyana Tourism Authority, Indranauth Haralsingh said that the Government is very committed to improving airlift in Guyana. This is a deliberate strategy to increase accessibility whilst work continues to expand the CJIA and prepare it to be a hub for air transportation in the Region.

Haralsingh explained that in terms of tourism value chain, increase in airlift means increased access to destination Guyana, as well as increased connectivity. The addition of Insel Air opened up connections between Guyana and the Dutch Caribbean (with direct links to Amsterdam); while COPA opens up Central, North and South America.

“More airlift access and connectivity lead to visitor arrival and all these airlines coming is very good news for the Diaspora as well. An increase in the number of tourists means an increase in foreign currency in the Guyanese economy… and can lead to higher occupancy rate and room revenue for the hotels, all of this leads to a number of other opportunities…all of this will lead to growth in the Guyanese economy,” he said.

From last year when Travel Span and Fly Jamaica started and with the advent of Insel Air, Conviasa and COPA, airlift or seat capacity to Guyana has doubled. This translates to millions of US dollars in investments for each airplane flying to Guyana.

The GTA Director said that this is an endorsement in the tourism sector and is an exemplification of the level of investors’ confidence in the local economy.

He said that there has been a lot of calls from Guyanese, especially those in the Diaspora for direct flights, competitive airfares, choices, ability to travel with more baggage (weight), all of which they are now getting. This makes destination Guyana far more accessible than it was before.

“All of this is positive indicators for Guyana and for the sector and at the same time it emphasises the vital need for the expansion of the CJIA to accommodate all these aircraft, and to provide all the kinds of services that one would require upon arrival,” Haralsingh said.

The recent announcement of Guyoil’s entry to provide fuel at the airport is welcomed by the tourism sector and its stakeholders. Construction of this facility will commence shortly and is expected to be completed in three months.

In terms of arrival increase, 2013 was a record year; it was the first time Guyana reached the 200,000 mark. However, in May this year, a 9.6 percent increase was recorded over that of the previous year and a 28.8 percent increase in April.

Last year, for the month of June arrivals were recorded at 14,601 and Haralsingh said that from all indications, this year, that number will be surpassed, as well especially with the upcoming summer events such as Guyana Festival, Jamzone, Guyexpo, and Berbice Expo.

There have also been reports of good occupancy rates at the hotels (both large and small) around the country.

Meanwhile, the 14 Guyanese who left for the US to undergo training to become flight attendants for Travel Span returned earlier today. They were all successful at this training programme and were all certified by the Federal Aviation Authority.

Within a couple weeks, a second batch will be departing Guyana for Las Vegas to commence training.

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