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07-08-2017, 05:46 AM
The Tourism and Hospitality Association of Guyana (THAG) is disturbed, surprised and upset at Government’s support of a new association of private tour operators and the publishing of a publication to rival the Explore Guyana magazine.Tourism Minister, Manniram PrashadDuring a press conference yesterday morning, president of THAG, Renata Chuck-a-Sang, said that her organization was astonished to receive a letter recently from the Director of the Guyana Tourism Authority,Cheap Jerseys From China (http://www.nfljerseyscheapsale.us.com/), Mr. Indranauth Haralsingh,NCAA Hockey Jerseys (http://www.collegefootballproshop.com/), complaining that Explore Guyana has printed on its masthead that the magazine “is published in association with the Ministry of Tourism, Industry and Commerce and the Guyana Tourism Authority”. Haralsingh made the claim that this “is inaccurate, untrue and very misleading”.Chuck-a-Sang said that it was Tourism Minister,Cheap Jerseys Online (http://www.cheapchinanfljerseys.us/), Manniram Prashad, who, at a meeting with the publisher, requested that the magazine indicate that it is being published in association with the Ministry.She added that the GTA Director then goes on to complain that Explore Guyana publishes on its cover that it is “the official tourist guide of Guyana”. THAG was then informed that the GTA will itself now be publishing a magazine to be the official tourist guide of Guyana.According to Chuck-a-Sang, Explore Guyana has, for the past 14 years, been defined as the official tourist guide of Guyana without this ever being disputed by the Ministry of Tourism which has, until now, purchased, distributed and advertised in the magazine.Further, she asserted,Cheap Jerseys From China (http://www.ityzzy.com/), the GTA, until last year, on their own initiative,Wholesale Cheap Jerseys (http://wholesalejerseys.thachero.com/), purchased, at a cost, an additional 20,000 copies directly from the publisher at no financial benefit to THAG but to everyone’s benefit from the increased circulation.Chuck-a-Sang noted that the GTA has now withdrawn its advertising from Explore Guyana and has engaged the services of a person who is directly canvassing advertisers in the magazine to transfer their advertising from Explore Guyana to the yet to be published GTA magazine.“We take great exception to this,” Chuck-a-Sang said.PSC Chairman, Captain Gerry GouveiaShe added that the GTA Board has certainly not authorized the Director “to write to us in this manner, nor has the Board authorized the publication of a magazine which will mirror Explore Guyana.”“The GTA Director seems to be pursuing an agenda which we do not understand. Quite frankly, we are extremely disturbed by his behaviour. We have written the Minister asking to see him about this matter.”We have no quarrel with the GTA and we do not wish to have one, Chuck-a-Sang contended. The GTA and THAG ought to have the same agenda of investing in and marketing the development of our tourism product.THAG, she said, represents the investors in the tourism industry. We do what we can to promote and market the industry,Cheap Hockey Jerseys (http://nhl.frlodge.com/), provide training and support to improve the efficiency and attractiveness of the product we sell.She also said that at a time when the world, and Guyana with it, faces recession and its hugely negative impact on tourism, it is imperative that government and the private sector work together as partners to meet this challenge.THAG was established some 17 years ago. Ms Chuck-a-Sang said that THAG has virtually been the only game in town for the effective and consistent promotion of our tourism product.THAG has a membership of 55 encompassing large and, mainly, small hotels, resorts, restaurants, airlines, tour operators, travel agencies, tourist institutions, service organizations, publishers and allied members. THAG’s membership represents a complete cross section of the tourism industry.THAG used its own resources from its members to develop and publish,Cheap Stitched Jerseys (http://www.cheapnfljerseysfactory.us.com/), first, a high quality brochure which has become, some 14 years later, a full fledged, first class, glossy tourism magazine, Explore Guyana, which has received international recognition.THAG President, Renata Chuck-a-SangExplore Guyana has been and, until this time, remains the only major publication promoting Guyana as a tourist destination. Its circulation is 25,000.Leading tourism entrepreneur and chairman of the Private Sector Commission, Captain Gerry Gouveia, has said that the GTA,Custom Raptors Jersey (http://www.basketballstore.us.com/custom-shop/Custom-Shop-Toronto-Raptors/), as the government regulatory body, should concentrate on its primary responsibilities of marketing Guyana and implementing safety and standards in the tourism and hospitality industry, instead of trying to operate like THAG.Minister of Tourism, Manniram Prashad, said that as former Chairman of the Private Sector Commission (PSC) and former President of the Chamber of Commerce and now as a government minister, “this government will not get involved in banning any private sector organisation.”He added that when he saw the article in this newspaper that Captain Gouveia was very disturbed that the government is encouraging the formation of a new organisation in the tourism sector, he could not believe it. “I can’t understand how he could say this because as the Chairman of the Private Sector Commission he should be encouraging the formation of several private sector organisations…”Minister Prashad contends that anybody can print any magazine he wants. “I am not going to stop other tourism associations from printing magazines…That is not the ambit of my work so I am not going to protect organisations that do not function properly.“The membership must decide that…the tour operators, the hotel owners and the people in the tourism sector must decide which organisation they want to join. I am not going to get involved with that.”However,Wholesale Authentic Jerseys Outlet (http://wholesalejerseys.thachero.com/), the Minister added, the Ministry and the GTA will continue to work with all tourism associations including THAG for the development of tourism.“I understand that it was stated that I gave permission for THAG to use in their magazine ‘printed in association with Ministry of Tourism.’ Of course I did that, but that was done after a meeting where it was agreed that they would show us the content and we will work on the content together.”Minister Prashad said that there is content in Explore Guyana that is not good for tourism or the image of the country. He gave one such example as pictures of birds in cages, pages away from an article that says Guyana is a bird watcher’s paradise.“The sophisticated nature and adventure tourist do not like to see animals in captivity and I got a lot of calls about that. If I had seen that I would not have subscribed to it.”Another issue with the content is that there are complains that those in the executive promote their resorts more than others.The Minister said that if Guyana is serious about tourism, everybody has to be given a chance to showcase their product.“We will not be sidetracked by any association that wants to dominate and take control of all other organisations.”On the issue of retracting the title from Explore Guyana that it is the ‘official tourist guide of Guyana’, the Minister said that the official tourist guide is what the government sanctions but THAG magazine has played an important role and will continue to play an important role.“They would be the official private sector tourist guide.”Minister Prashad also contended that government is not competing but complementing.“I am willing to meet with them at anytime but I am not restricting the formation of any private sector organization.”