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Cricket Carnival growth evident in booked-out hotel rooms

President Dr. Irfaan Ali addressing a press conference on Saturday morning

With the second edition of Cricket Carnival in full swing, Guyana is experiencing the kind of problems ‘you want to have’, as the action-packed calendar creates a boom in the Tourism and Sport sectors.
The Cricket Carnival 2023 craze has been so demanding that hotel rooms have gone like ‘hot cakes’, as tourists, members of the diaspora, sport enthusiasts and other officials lock down their accommodations to witness the Republic Bank Caribbean Premier League and the series of concerts and events on the Cricket Carnival calendar.
This revelation was made by none other than President Dr. Irfaan Ali himself, as he responded to an inquiry about the ongoing Cricket Carnival during a press conference on Saturday morning at State House on Main Street in Georgetown.
“I don’t know if I should say this, if I’ll get in problems saying this,” the Head of State said with a laugh, “but we’ve been in an embarrassing situation in terms of hotel rooms. We’re completely out of hotel rooms, and we had major delegations that had to limit their stay in Guyana because of the lack of hotel rooms.
“From a situation when we were building the Marriott, when we were criticized and we were called all kinds of names; to now, when we’re embarrassed because we don’t have enough rooms in hotels, it’s a big story,” the President said.
“And that is why these hotels that we’re building are so important. Not we, the Private Sector now, and we have to ensure that we expedite the building of these rooms,” he disclosed.
In addressing the growth the Cricket Carnival has experienced, the Head of State shared a recent occurrence wherein the tourism boom was on full display at one of Guyana’s international airports.
“So, the arrival has been enormous. There is consistent growth, you know; we have different challenges with this. Two nights ago, I was awakened by calls from the airport, persons from the diaspora who are coming in; and they were relating to me that you had about four flights coming at the same time, and you had more than 600 arrivals at immigration,” President Ali detailed. “And you had more than 600 arrivals at immigration, and they were lining up even outside onto the tarmac,” he added.
When it comes to the cricket aspect, the Head of State expressed his elation with the performances of local franchise the Guyana Amazon Warriors (GAW) thus far. President Ali declared with a smile, “We are very, very excited. I know the Minister of Tourism is very, very pleased with what is taking place so far, and you know the mood is one of celebration. I hope the Amazon Warriors can keep that mood up until after the finals.”
Cricket Carnival began on Friday evening with the Chutney Concert, and will conclude on Monday, September 25th, with the highly anticipated Road Parade. The Guyana leg of the RBL CPL begins on Wednesday, September 13th, at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence, and the CPL final is set for Sunday, September 24th. (Jemima Holmes)