The government recorded the highest levels of arrivals last year when compared to the arrivals recorded in 2019, and this alone is testimony to the growth of the Tourism and Hospitality Sectors.
This is buoyed by the strong policies implemented by the Ministry of Tourism and other stakeholders contributing to the sterling economic growth stated in the budget.
This is according to the Tourism, Industry and Commerce Minister, Oneidge Walrond as she made her contributions to the ongoing budget debates 2024 at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC) on Thursday.
“Arrivals for 2023 surpassed the previous highest recorded in 2019 by about 5000 persons. The fact is that arrivals reached a record-breaking total of 319,056 which stands as Guyana’s highest-recorded number of visitors to date” Minister Walrond stated.
Last year,2023, marked the success of the tourism sector with an illustrious record in the highest number of visitors to Guyana, and increased airlift capacity.
Passengers at the CJIA
Walrond said the year saw an overall increase in arrivals from 844,000 including a 273% increase in visitors compared to 2020, surpassing even the pre-pandemic peak of 2019.
Cricket Carnival season played a major role in accelerating arrivals in Guyana, amongst other activities throughout the year.
“2023 saw the highest number of arrivals in Guyana ever. High numbers were recorded in March, April, July, September and November. Cricket Carnival coupled with CPL which we worked hard to secure the rights for, boosted arrivals in September,” Minster Walrond said.
Similarly, airlift capacity tripled from 2021 to 2023, reaching 1.2 million seats. This was due to the addition of new airlines like British Airways, American Airlines, and United Airlines, as well as increased frequencies from existing carriers.
“Mr. Speaker, airlift capacity rose from 226,000 seats in 2021 to just over 1,000,000 in 2022, and again to 1.2 million seats in 2023. In short, sir, we have doubled airlift capacity in these three years,” the tourism minister informed.
American Airlines will add another daily flight on the Georgetown – Miami route, while United will be introducing a Georgetown-Houston route with four flights weekly in 2024.
Additionally, Suriname Airlines added a service link in Georgetown to Bridgetown, Barbados and Paramaribo. Inter Caribbean has signalled a desire for possible expansion of its operations into Ogle.
The constraints of volume and high cost of travel that once challenged the industry have been significantly reduced since the implementation of additional flights across the region
“We now have several direct flights a day to the regional hubs of Barbados, Trinidad or Saint Lucia, from where our passengers can connect to major destinations in Europe, North America and the Caribbean,” Minister Walrond outlined.
Two to three direct flights daily into major North American hubs of Miami and New York, the direct route to London, operating twice weekly and flights to Panama City and the addition of the Georgetown Houston route now allows for more connections.
With the expansion of flights, Guyana will have one-stop connections to somewhere between 250 and 300 destinations worldwide. (DPI)