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By Yanalla DalrympleGuyana will be hosting the 24th Inter-American Congress of Ministers and High-Level Authorities of Tourism of the Americas on March 21-22, 2018 at the Marriott Hotel. Under the theme “Connecting the Americas through Sustainable Tourism”, the Congress was launched on Thursday at the Umana Yana, Kingston.Ministers and other officials seated at the launching of the 24th CongressThe Government of Guyana and the OAS General Secretariat signed a cooperation agreement on Thursday for the organisation of the event.It will be the first ever high-level OAS meeting in Guyana. According to Minister with responsibilities for tourism, Dominic Gaskin, this sort of meeting raises our profile as a country and also makes us eligible to showcase the country at a high level.“I’m proud that Guyana is hosting this event and I am also honoured to be a part, we can now have a place at the table and by the hosting of this Congress.Permanent representative of Guyana to the OAS, Jean Ricot Dormeus, said, “It’s a historic occasion for Guyana. We look forward with pleasure and anticipation to welcome you all to Guyana. For us, sustainable tourism is critical for our development as a nation.”Moreover, Dormeus noted tourism can significantly expand economic opportunities for our citizens. It should be sustainable, ensuring that the economic, social, cultural and environmental elements are fully respected.”The Congress will feature key topics like showcasing cultural and tourism resources, imputing the tourism agenda of the Americas, advancing interests in the area of transportation and strengthens Guyana’s connection with the Americas giving more flesh and substance to the continental destinyNational Coordinator and Chairman of the Tourism Board, Donald Sinclair, asked “what does hosting this event mean for Guyana?”Sinclair then explained that apart from showcasing Guyana’s’ culture, it will also strengthen its ties with other countries. The 23rd Inter-American Congress of Tourism was held in Lima, Peru, in 2015.