Barbados experts see ‘passion for growth’ in local tourism industry
From left: THAG Executive Officer, Oslyn Kirton (left); President of THAG, Harrinand Persaud (centre) and BCSI Executive Director, Michelle Smith-Mayers (Delano Williams photo)
From left: THAG Executive Officer, Oslyn Kirton (left); President of THAG, Harrinand Persaud (centre) and BCSI Executive Director, Michelle Smith-Mayers (Delano Williams photo)

–set to help stakeholders prepare for opportunities to come, after THAG signs MoU with Barbados Coalition of Service Industries

THE Tourism and Hospitality Association Guyana (THAG), on Thursday, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Barbados Coalition of Service Industries (BCSI), which will see the organisation benefitting from capacity building and collaborations to improve the country’s tourism sector.

The MoU was signed in the boardroom of the Private Sector Commission (PSC) by THAG’s President, Harrinand Persaud and BCSI Executive Director, Michelle Smith-Mayers.

In brief remarks, Smith-Mayers said that the BCSI is an organisation that works to build capacity in the services sector of which tourism constitutes a large part.
She said that while the organisation is charged with building capacity in associations in Barbados, they are cognisant of the trajectory of growth in Guyana’s tourism sector.

“We are happy to be able to assist THAG wherever we can particularly coming out of the fact that our Prime Minister and the President of Guyana have formed an alliance and made it possible for us to work with THAG wherever possible,” she said.

The Executive Director said that since coming to Guyana, she has met with several stakeholders within the sector and indicated that she has seen nothing but passion for the sector and its growth along with anticipation and enthusiasm for what is to come.

However, she added that the BCSI is aware that there are issues concerning standards in the services sector as well as the management in the hotel and restaurant sectors. These businesses, Smith-Mayers said, that supply the tourism sector must see an increase in the level of service and increase in the skills within the sector.

She related: “So we would be working over the rest of this year and as long as THAG needs us to help, to put some new structures in place to be able to address the needs of the sector and the needs of its members directly.”

Further, the Executive Director related that as part of this MoU, the BCSI is trying to do an analysis of the needs within the sector and further be able to assist.

In this regard, she said that Guyana has the benefit of not having to struggle and fight its way in the dark and further drawing on the experiences that Barbados has had so far.

Meanwhile, THAG Executive Officer, Oslyn Kirton, said that this collaboration comes at a time when Guyana is experiencing huge growth in tourism, as there are some 2,000 to 2,500 new hotel rooms expected to come on board within the next two years.

She said that the collaboration between the two BCSI and THAG will assist players in the sector to be prepared for the expected growth.

Kirton added that this MoU is an agreement of service between the two organisations which will see BCSI offering assistance where necessary and stated that the partnership will continue through the end of the year.

Further, Persaud expressed gratitude to the BCSI and added that THAG looks forward to partnering with the organisation and gaining from the experiences to be shared.

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