More training needed to reel in tourists to Guyana – Gaskin

first_imgBusiness Minister Dominic Gaskin, who is tasked with responsibility for tourism, has admitted that there was a grave need for more training in the hospitality sector in order to bring more tourists to the country.Gaskin told Guyana Times during a recent interview that although efforts were being made to increase the number of airlines serving the country, persons who make direct contact with visitors should be properly trained.The Minister made specific reference to hotel receptionists as well as minibus and taxi drivers.Business Minister Dominic Gaskin“We need more airlifts, but that is being attended to and we are getting people coming. Our visitor arrival is increasing, but I think what we need though is a lot more training in some of the hospitality sectors as well as the transportation sector so that the visitor experience is one that they would want to recommend,” he said.Gaskin added, “I think a lot of work has to be done in the services sector whether it is restaurant, hotels, minibus, taxis, even retail, because we want to give them an experience that reflects our seriousness about tourism and if you don’t have good service, you not gonna get return visitors”.According to him, the Ministry has been conducting training for some hotel personnel while the Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA) is working on a new programme which will ensure more persons are trained in this regard.“I think what we are focusing on now is … a particular training programme that involves certification and we are trying to get the GTA trainers trained so that they can actually do the training themselves and certification,” he noted.Moreover, Gaskin explained that the new programme would allow the Ministry to train and certify persons to an internationally recognised standard.The Minister was keen to note that although he hoped for this programme to be operational before year end, it does not mean that other training sessions would discontinue.Guyana was recently named the number one “Best of Ecotourism” destination in the world. The award was presented to Guyana at the Internationale Tourismus-Börse (ITB) global travel trade fair in Berlin, Germany – the world’s largest tourism trade fair.The second annual “Best of Top 100” Awards is a selection of the finest top 100 destinations selected by a panel of experts, who reviewed sustainability success stories submitted by destinations worldwide.The newly-created “Best of Ecotourism” category was added in 2019 and puts Guyana up against very well-known and long-established ecotourism destinations, such as Sierra Gorda in Mexico, Tmatboey in Cambodia, and the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador.Back in December last year during budgetary debates, Gaskin boasted of a 17 per cent increase in visitor arrivals up to September, when compared with figures for the same period last year.The Minister pointed out that apart from the two major agricultural products which are rice and sugar, tourism brings in the highest amount of foreign earnings while also providing opportunities for young Guyanese.Recognising the importance of the sector, Gaskin said the Ministry increased the budget allocation to the GTA from $123 million in 2014 to over $300 million in 2019.He explained that the GTA and the Department of Tourism would receive budgetary allocations of $305 million and $93 million respectively.last_img read more

City to close drug ‘market,’ pursue funds

first_imgAtkins and Nero are already in custody awaiting trial on drug-related charges. The city will also seek an order requiring the property owners, Jacqueline Atkins and Mkrtich Mendikyan, to prohibit loitering and remove all obstructions on or surrounding the property, including opaque fencing, screen doors or tarps. Between June 2005 and February 2007, undercover Los Angeles Police Department officers made 38 arrests stemming from activity at the homes, seizing cocaine, marijuana, weapons and ammunition, police said. Thirteen of those arrested were known gang members. Meanwhile, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Police Chief William Bratton traveled to Sacramento along with their counterparts across the state to discuss ways of combating street crime at a meeting called by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Schwarzenegger said he wants to focus on a variety of strategies, including providing alternatives to youths such as after-school programs and better career education. “What we want to do is really declare war on gang violence and on gangs all over the state of California,” Schwarzenegger said. And he told the mayors: “You can count on the state. We’re going to work with you. You’re not out there by yourself.” In the 1990s, Bratton said, cities were successful in reducing gang violence thanks to strong partnerships with state and local governments, but some of that cooperation has faded. “(In the 1990s) we got it right,” said Bratton, the former New York City police chief who is credited with a major crime reduction there. “Then after 9-11, the federal government dropped off the Earth – and basically went to war across the ocean, and forgot about the wars we’re fighting at home.” Villaraigosa in the past has pressed the governor to create a new statewide anti-gang program that would provide at least $30 million to Los Angeles over three years to create 10 gang-reduction zones, with additional law enforcement resources as well as youth programs. He said that request did not come up in Thursday’s meeting. Villaraigosa added that one consensus among the mayors and other officials was that additional law enforcement alone is not enough. “We’ve got to deal with the root causes of crime,” Villaraigosa said. “You’ve got to have prevention, intervention. That means after-school programs, apprenticeship programs. That means summer youth jobs, training programs for youth.” Back in the San Fernando Valley, residents blamed crime on illegal immigrants and called for tougher policing and swifter deportation procedures. “It seems like every time there is a crime, it’s an illegal alien,” said an unidentified woman who attended a Los Angeles Police Commission meeting in Sun Valley. “It’s important that we … (show) respect to various … communities of the city … and respect one another,” said John W. Mack, president of the Police Commission. rick.coca@dailynews.com (818) 713-3329160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! City officials traveled near and far Thursday to battle street crime, vowing to clean up a San Fernando Valley house being used as a “supermarket” for drugs and meeting in Sacramento to strategize with state officials. At the LAPD’s Foothill Division in Pacoima, Los Angeles City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo announced that his office would seek court orders against two gang members and the owners of two adjacent single-family homes in the 13200 block of Filmore Street. “Right in the middle of an otherwise quiet and decent neighborhood, members of the Front Street Crips, a criminal street gang, have used this property as a supermarket for narcotic sales,” Delgadillo said. Delgadillo said he would seek court orders to prevent Larry Atkins and Charles Nero, gang members suspected of selling drugs from the homes, from coming within 500 feet of the properties. last_img read more

DONEGAL ATHLETES COMPLETE DUBLIN HALF MARATHON WHICH WAS MARRED BY TRAGEDY

first_imgPaul Devine.Conor Gallagher.Conor Sharkey.Conal Creagh.Christy Murray.ATHLETICS: Donegal athletes completed the SSE Dublin half-marathon in Phoenix Park over the weekend – but the event was marred by tragedy.23 year-old John McHugh from Belvedere, Dublin collapsed and died during the race which took place on Saturday.The talented sportsman and artist had only recently graduated from NUI Maynooth with a First Class Honours in BSc Industrial and Product design. Sadly, despite the valiant efforts of the St John’s Ambulance Service who attended to Mr McHugh at the scene – he was then transferred to Connolly Hospital but was pronounced dead shorty after arrival.It is believed he suffered a ‘cardiac event’ close to the finishing line.The Donegal athletes pictured above completed the half-marathon and eagle eyed photographer Joe Boland was on hand to capture them in action.Conal Creagh, Christy Murray, Conor Gallagher, Conor Sharkey and Paul Devine all performed superbly at the event.   DONEGAL ATHLETES COMPLETE DUBLIN HALF MARATHON WHICH WAS MARRED BY TRAGEDY was last modified: September 21st, 2015 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:athleticsSportlast_img read more