TIMEHRI, Guyana (Thursday, April 14, 2021) — A new signature landmark, a 20-foot “Welcome to Guyana” sign, has been erected, at the roundabout, near the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA).
The project — which also includes the placement of 100 hanging flower baskets on the light posts, from the Timheri junction to the site — forms part of the First Lady’s National Beautification Project.
The sign was unveiled, on Tuesday, by First Lady, Arya Ali, in the company of President, Dr. Irfaan Ali; Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, Oneidge Walrond; foreign diplomats; Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the CJIA, Ramesh Ghir; and businessman, Neal Sukhlall.
Discussions about the project began, on August 14 last year, between the Office of the First Lady, CJIA, and Impressions – a local branding and marketing company.
“Today’s launch is a demonstration of the successful implementation of this project, since it was done through a collaborative approach, involving key government agencies and our private sector partners,” First Lady Ali told a small group of invitees to the event.
The undertaking, which is estimated to be in excess of $25M, involved landscaping of the entire surrounding area at the CJIA. The sign was designed, built and installed by Impressions, and the hanging baskets were sponsored by oilfield services company, TotalTec.
The First Lady said that she believes that the development of the area will add to the value of Guyana’s tourism experience, and support efforts to market Brand Guyana.
“In an emerging economy, like ours, marketing is functionally important. So, every tourist, expat, or even local, who snaps a photograph at this multi-million dollar sign and uploads it to their social media profile, is helping us to improve and increase Guyana’s brand awareness,” she stated.
The First Lady said an enhanced public space gives locals in the area something to feel proud of and celebrate, adding, “Ultimately, for us, it is about providing a better and happier life for our people,” she said.
Ghir noted the importance of such a project at a time when Guyana is poised for economic transformation and an expansion of the tourism and hospitality sectors.
The CEO was keen to note that post-COVID, Guyana will come in sharp focus, and it must be ready to offer tourists a rich package. He also commended the First Lady for her astute leadership in transforming the idea of this project into reality.
Shane Sukhlall, a representative of Impressions, also spoke briefly, underscoring the role of the private sector in Guyana’s development, and noted how important it was for the government and the private sector to have symbiotic relationships, which ultimately benefits the people of Guyana.
The First Lady decided to embark on an ambitious National Beautification Project to safeguard the scenic qualities of Guyana, while creating an environmentally friendly society.
This project relies on scenic conservation and revitalization, which can both motivate and accelerate community renewal and reinvestment as part of a larger economic development or master plan.
The project is guided by five principles of scenic conservation and revitalization: the retention of the distinctive character of Guyana’s cities, towns, and communities as beautiful spaces to live and work; the protection and regulation of the country’s scenic resources; the regulation and monitoring of all forms of unlawful intrusion on the landscape or community appearance of public spaces; education about the value of scenic conservation and the importance of environmentally-friendly lifestyles; and finally, the establishment of a link, between stakeholders, to increase Guyana’s tourism capacity.
Similar scenic conservation and revitalization projects, undertaken by the Office of the First Lady, are ongoing at the Kingston Seawall, Tuschen Community Centre ground, and La Jealousie on the West Coast of Demerara.