… Toronto consulate opens spanking new office
By Frederick Halley
Department of Tourism Director-General, Donald Sinclair, through whose initiative the Guyanese-Canadian Tourism Council (GCTC) was established, was among the persons on hand Thursday night to witness its official launching.
The launch, which took place at the Guyana Consulate in Toronto, also coincided with the official opening of the consulate’s spanking new location, situated in the same building it has been occupying for several years but now on the seventh floor, a move from the second floor.
Formation of the GCTC was one of the main decisions emanating from the Diaspora Business and Tourism Forum, held at the JC Banquet Hall, Scarborough, Toronto, Canada, last May, with Sinclair urging participants to accelerate its implementation.
In his address, Sinclair had said he was eagerly looking forward to the formation of the body and that those chosen should also be tasked with initiating further discussions on fam trips to Guyana, another area which those present felt should be pursued.
Reflecting on what has taken place since the GCTC was established, Sinclair lauded the efforts of the body, pointing out that its existence could have far-reaching effects on thousands of Guyanese in the diaspora.
According to the director-general, “it is one of the most significant initiatives to have occurred as far as diaspora tourism is concerned”.
He also alluded to his long-term vision that when the GCTC gets going in 2018 and beyond, the council should be in a position to seek some kind of formal incorporation with the national tourism structure, whereby it could seek allocation in the national tourism budget.
He pledged his full assistance in this process.
The nine-member council was formed in June and last weekend, three members including Chairman, Syed Rayman, made a fam tour to Guyana.
Rayman said the visit, which included tours to Kaieteur Falls, Fort Island, Saxacalli and Bartica, was a resounding success. Members also met with tourism officials in an informal session.
He pointed out that the mission is to further promote Guyana as an attractive tourism destination while the purpose and objectives are to plan, promote and provide educational programmes and activities; to engage the community in promoting togetherness and respect for each other; to develop community knowledge of Guyana’s eco-tourism and to generate funds for the implementation of the council’s objectives.
Apart from the recent fam tour, other standard strategic initiatives include the launching of a website, launching of a monthly newsletter, Guyana Independence tour in May 2018 and Centennial College Guyana Hospitality tour in June 2018.
Other members of the council are vice-chair Lyndsay Davidson, Teddy Boyce, Tony McWatt, Professor Mohammed Khan, Cyril Bryan, Stanton Carter, Regina Cheong and Angela Thomas.
Acting Consul General, Candida Daniels is ex-officio member.
In her opening remarks, Consul General (ag) Daniels disclosed that the consulate “is very supportive of the work of the council and looks forward to collaborating and working with the body in moving Guyana’s tourism in another level”.
In acknowledging her hardworking staff, Daniels expressed her deep appreciation “for all their assistance in making this office look and feel like a little piece of Guyana here in Toronto. It’s still a work in progress, as we strive to make our space in Toronto the best possible representation of Guyana and where all Guyanese and friends of Guyana in the Greater Toronto and other parts of Canada can feel welcome”.
(Sourced from Guyana Chronicle– November 20, 2017)