Some hoteliers concerned new properties will stifle local industry
Construction activity on 10 mega-hotels is slated to commence in Guyana in January 2021.
Peter Ramsaroop, chief executive officer of the Guyana Office for Investment (Go-Invest), who made the disclosure, said the 10 hotels that will start construction in January came from a pool of investors who responded to an expression of interest put out in August this year by Guyana’s Ministry of Tourism, Industry and Commerce.
The expression of interest was placed following calls for some 20,000 rooms to cater to the booming oil and gas industry in the country. Ramsaroop revealed that lands have already been acquired from private persons to construct the 10 mega-hotels.
The Guyanese government recently signed agreements with ‘658 Guyana Holdings’ for the construction of a 289-room US$90 million Hilton-branded hotel. This, is in addition to the agreements signed for the construction of a Delta Hotel Marriott near the Cheddi Jagan International Airport, an H-Towers luxury hotel in New Providence, on the East Bank, and a SureStay Plus Hotel by Best Western in central Georgetown.
King’s Jewellery has acquired the former Water Chris building, located at Waterloo and Quamina Streets in Georgetown, for its second luxury hotel. In its effort to source out investments in Guyana’s tourism sector, Go-Invest met with close to 35 local and foreign hoteliers, who will be building mega-hotels in the coming months, which has raised concerns among some of the existing players in the industry.
GO-INVEST DISMISSES HOTELIERS’ CONCERNS
The Go-Invest CEO has brushed aside concerns by some local hoteliers that the new mega hotels will stifle the local hotel industry. Pointing out that different hotels will cater to different guests, Ramsaroop emphasised that, as it is, Guyana does not have many options.
This is so because currently there is a shortage of hotel rooms in the country to cater to the expected demands. Ramsaroop pointed to the recent case where visiting US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo could not stay at the Marriott Hotel since all rooms were booked.
Ramsaroop highlighted that Guyana is in need of luxury, mid-level type hotels across the country, noting that several of the interested parties in constructing hotels in Guyana are from the local business sector, including King’s Jewellery World, Herdmanston Lodge and Palm Court.
According to Ramsaroop, “the hotels coming are not just foreign direct investment, many are local providers that have done extremely well in Guyana. We even have Herdmanston Lodge, which has been around for a while, expanding; we have some vendors putting in smaller hotels –Best Western hotels –that are at a different level.”
He said it was not just about the hotel rooms as jobs will be created in the taxi service, laundromats, agriculture and other sectors. The Go-Invest CEO urged the Guyanese private sector to gear up to contribute to the tourism and other industries that are rapidly expanding.
Ramsaroop concluded by indicating that the expectation is that, over the next three years, there will be many hotels to be constructed that will fill expected demand.