Remarks by Ambassador Lynch at Official Sod Turning Ceremony for Courtyard Marriott, CJIA

Remarks as prepared
Ambassador Sarah-Ann Lynch
Official Sod Turning Ceremony for Courtyard Marriott, C.J. International Airport
July 2, 2021

His Excellency, President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana Dr Irfaan Ali,
The Honorable Minister of Public Works, Bishop John Edghill,
The Honorable Minister of Tourism, Industry, and Commerce, Oneidge Walrond,
Mr. Roy Bassoo,
Mr. Eduardo Reple,
Religious leaders,
Members of the media,
Distinguished guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am honored to be here today to break ground on a new, U.S. branded hotel in Guyana.  Today’s event is but one in a series of large projects marking Guyana’s steady economic transformation.  The Courtyard Marriott we will be breaking ground on today is one of a growing number of international investments in Guyana, signaling confidence in the future of the economy.

And, that future is indeed bright.  We can see it all around the country with an explosion in new building and infrastructure construction, and an increase in visitors arriving from abroad.  This surge in international interest in Guyana has meant a lack of hotel rooms, especially in Georgetown, for visiting dignitaries, businesspeople, and tourists.  I am sure many here have had to counsel their visiting friends, colleagues, and contacts about this scarcity.

Consequently, this hotel’s construction is not just welcome, but needed. As Minister Edghill noted in May, this hotel is one of eight that will be built over the next few years.  And I am happy that it is a U.S. branded hotel, showcasing Marriott’s high quality and standards.  This new venture will be a win-win for the United States as well as Guyana, and just at the right time.  The world – and Guyana – is opening up as we transition into a post-COVID era, where demand for travel and hospitality services is skyrocketing.   This new hotel will create good jobs for Guyanese, training them on the skills necessary for work at a world-class hospitality company.  These skills will be based on valuable U.S. export – services and knowledge transfer – which we hope will continue in the coming years.

This new hotel is also testament to Marriott’s established success in Guyana. Since its opening in 2015, the Marriott in downtown Georgetown has become an epicenter for social and commercial life.  And, I might add, its’ outstanding reputation has continued during this most difficult year as we all struggle with the global pandemic.

With this new hotel, Guyana continues to move toward becoming the transportation and logistics hub it has envisioned itself to be. A Marriott at the major international airport will ease overnight air connections for travelers and airline staff, facilitate the hosting of meetings and conferences, and be a familiar face to those traveling to the “land of many waters.”  Any international traveler coming to Guyana will now see there are two Marriott hotels here, and be assured of Guyana’s commitment to providing world-class, internationally recognized services to its visitors.

We already have established U.S. brands here in oil and gas, food service and hospitality. I look forward to more of these internationally recognized names coming to Guyana not just to visit, but to stay.

I congratulate Marriott, and the Government of Guyana, on this wonderful achievement, and I look forward to watching the construction progress of the next Marriott Hotel in Guyana!

Thank you!