Tourism sector to get much needed boost – new Director

first_imgNewly appointed Tourism Director, Brian Mullis on Tuesday unveiled plans that will be implemented to boost Guyana’s tourism sector.Mullis said that since taking up the new role, he has been focusing on a more advanced and rounded approach to tackling the challenges that are currently affecting the growth and development of the country’s infant tourism sector.Tourism Director Brian MullisHe said emphasis must be placed on enhancing effective lines of communication within the Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA) and other supporting tourism bodies, to elevate Guyana’s place in the global market.“We have to focus on a more progressive and holistic approach to destination development. We cannot continue to engage in ad hoc tourism development,” the new Director of the GTA said.Mullis, is the founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the non-profit organisation – Sustainable Travel International – through which he has led several high impact projects worldwide.Mullis has also worked with the Dalai Lama on a project in Dharamshala, India, to reduce the negative impact of tourism.He was adamant that the tourism sector income could double in no time, but it needs help from the Private Sector.Mullis, who began his contract as Director on April 16 of this year, was shortlisted from a group of over 30 regional and international applications.He also served two terms on the US Travel and Tourism Advisory Board under the Obama Administration.His appointment was announced by Minister of State Joseph Harmon during a post-Cabinet press briefing in January. With plans to boost the development of a sustainable tourist destination, the appointment of the new GTA Director was essential.Mullis replaces former Director Indranauth Haralsingh, whose tenure ended late last year.However, People’s Progressive Party, former Tourism Minister Irfaan Ali, had expressed disappointment that since 2015, management of the sector has been marked by a lack of “energy and enthusiasm.”According to Ali, the tourism sector holds much potential for Guyana, but there is need for a tourism policy to be guided by a strategic approach that is not limited to developing and marketing Guyana as a product, but caters to partnering with the Private Sector. He urged that that approach be devoid of political considerations.He related that the former Administration had, over the years, developed a number of signature events, which are now either being de-emphasised or ignored by the coalition Government.He opined that the sector has become dormant because the Business Ministry, which has oversight of the tourism sector, lacks the energy and vision necessary to take the industry forward. Noting that the local experience continues to be underestimated, he urged that a national discussion on tourism be held. (Yanalla Dalrymple)last_img

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