Above: Guyanese and Argentine officials in Georgetown
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Guyana and Argentina are planning to strengthen their bilateral cooperation in the tourism sector.
Guyana’s Tourism Minister Irfaan Ali and Argentina Ambassador to Guyana Luis Marino said the two sides were planning a series of initiatives aimed at deepening tourism cooperation.
It’s part of a push on the part of Guyana to increase its reach in South and Latin America.
“We made it clear that a number of steps were needed to ensure that we enter into this exciting and large market which has tremendous potential. Our strategy was to first ensure we have the infrastructure that will allow access to the market, including flights and air capacity and to commence training for institutional capacity,” Ali said.
That has included Spanish language instruction at places like the Cheddi Jagan International Airport, Ali said, where several front line staff have been taking courses in the language.
Other potential areas of cooperation between the two sides could include student exchange programmes, trade shows and private sector exchange.
“We can take lead from Argentina; they have some of the finest regulations and best practices, best capacity for the management of national parks and we can learn from them, this can be used as a starting point,” Ali said.
For his part, Marino said now was a good time to renew the link between the two South American countries.
“Indeed it is really an opportunity to highlight a new episode on the path of further integrating and cooperating in the area of tourism and protected areas between the two countries,” he said.
Argentina’s Tourism Ministry has already approved financing for a three-phase project that will include a visit with two Guyana Tourism Authority representatives in Argentina, who will take part in a week-long exchange with tourism staff in the country.
The second phase will include the hosting of a Spanish course for GTA staff and the third phase deals with protected areas and technical assistance.
“All these initiatives follow into the broad goal of increasing the depth and scope of the technical cooperation between Guyana and Argentina, in this particular case in tourism and environmental protection and natural resources, and we are hoping this represent the kick-off of a very fruitful and sustained cooperation relations,” Marino said.