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Guyana’s Tourism Minister flays CHTA leadership as weak and inefficient

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, CMC – Tourism Minister Manniram Prashad has came out in support of President Bharrat Jagdeo over his statements dismissing calls by regional hoteliers that the Caribbean governments were seeking to impose unfair taxes on the tourism sector. Prashad said a statement by the President of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) Josef Forstmayr in response to the remarks made by President Jagdeo was in itself unfortunate.

Jagdeo, speaking at the end of the annual Caribbean Community (CARICOM) summit in St. Kitts on Monday, said hoteliers had to “look at the cost structure of the industry” without having to constantly blame governments over the meagre taxes coming from the sector.

But Forstmayr said President Jagdeo was speaking from a misinformed position on taxation in the various islands throughout the region “and with little or no knowledge of the tourism industry and the contribution it makes to Caribbean economies”.

However, the Guyana tourism minister said that he wanted to “inform and remind Mr. Forstmayr that President Jagdeo is well informed and totally familiar and up to date on taxation and tourism matters in the region.

“It is unfortunate that the head of a regional association will seek to hide or cloak his inefficiency, lack of vision and solutions and weak leadership behind such a cowardly attack on one of the region’s most respected leaders and think with a proven track record of accomplishments and with world class expertise in finance and taxation,” Prashad said.