As Guyana positions itself for economic transformation and an influx of tourists in the coming years, it will, no doubt, become one of the leading tourist destinations in the world. Immediate efforts must therefore be
placed on enhancing the country’s scenic qualities. This is why First Lady, HE Arya Ali has embarked on an ambitious National Beautification Project which will help to safeguard the scenic qualities of Guyana’s roadways, urban spaces, and countryside; while simultaneously create a more environmentally-friendly society.
Scenic revitalization can both motivate and accelerate community renewal and reinvestment as part of a larger economic development or master plan. At the community level, the First Lady will pursue the development of eco-friendly (green) parks in each administrative region. This will allow for the conservation of agricultural lands and open spaces in both urban and rural districts.
To complement this aspect of her National Beautification Project, the First Lady intends to introduce a five-year national tree planting exercise, targeting available public spaces including the shoreline. She hopes that this will serve to encourage protection of Guyana’s scenic resources.
While this is being done, efforts are also being made to restore sections of Georgetown to its former glory. Along Vlissengen Road and the East Bank corridor, for instance, flower plants will be utilized to enhance the beauty of those urban spaces. Other regions will benefit from a similar undertaking.
The Kingston seawall is also an area earmarked for restoration. It is the vision of the First Lady to develop that section of the seawall into a tourist hub, by introducing regularized food and craft shops, which will be
complemented by live performances at the Bandstand. Meanwhile, at the CheddiJagan International Airport (CJIA) a ÔWelcome to Guyana’ sign is nearing completion at the roundabout. According to the First Lady, this was one of the missing elements of the airport, since it allows tourists and overseas-based Guyanese to take photos and market brand Guyana.
Important in all of this is the regulation and monitoring of any form of unlawful intrusion on the landscape or community appearance of public spaces. As such, the First Lady has indicated that an important aspect of the project will be an ongoing country-wide clean-up exercise lead by local government authorities and local non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
The National Beautification Project is one which promises to be transformational, building on scenic revitalization and the promotion of local culture. This effort will serve to strengthen Guyana’s tourism sector and balance the tourism scale which has traditionally tiled towards eco-tourism.