As Minister responsible for developing and promoting tourism in Guyana, I am pleased to announce, Guyana’s first ever Coconut Awareness Week and Festival.

As its name implies, this week has to do with the celebration of coconuts and in the course of the week there will be a wealth of interesting information about coconuts and about Guyana.  The week climaxes with Guyana’s first Coconut Festival and the recognition that the widespread use of coconut products globally is not reflected in any overall familiarity with the coconut itself. This points to a need for greater awareness and an opportunity to create that awareness through tourism. Hence the coconut has now been added to Guyana’s list of tourist attractions.

In the world of tourism, Guyana is a slowly unfolding enigma, randomly exposing its many hidden treasures. The coconut has been a lifelong companion to generations of Guyanese and today it still emerges as a novel and intriguing product, not just to us here in Guyana, but to millions around the world.
So for those whose interests are sparked by this unusual fruit, Coconut Awareness Week will certainly satisfy the desire to better understand its diverse uses and applications. But of course there’s much more to coconuts than can be learnt in one week, and one week alone cannot provide the experience that it seeks to promote. For that you will have to come and tour the plantations where our coconuts grow, visit the places where they are used and taste one of the most natural beverages in the world – fresh of the tree and still in the nut.

Guyana turned fifty this year, the coconut is millions of years old. I invite you to learn about the history of the coconut as well as its future in a green Guyana and to be part of Coconut Festival 2016.

Dominic Gaskin

Minister of Business