Public Telecommunications Minister Cathy Hughes on Sunday told local drone operators that their participation in the tourism industry was pivotal to both the sector and the development of Guyana.Some of the exhibitors at the expoAddressing the opening of an expo highlighting the use of drones in tourism at the Arthur Chung Convention Centre, Minister Hughes said the partnership between the tourism industry and technology has long been a “foregone conclusion”. According to her, in any part of the world where tourism is either developed or developing, technology is used.“Technology in tourism is inevitable. Drones and tourism marketing in today’s hi-tech world … in this digital era, you cannot have one without the other.”As a former Tourism Minister, Hughes said Guyana has been using drone technology for a number of years in tourism, agriculture, housing, and other sectors.Public Telecommunications Minister Cathy Hughes“Our tourism industry is benefiting from drone-assisted photography and videography that provides a bird’s eye view, beckoning all our citizens and visitors alike to come and enjoy, discover this beautiful country,” she told the expo.According to a report by the Department of Public Information (DPI), the Guyana Drone Operator Association was established to provide key information to local drone operators. Association President Lancelot Khan said drone technology has been growing rapidly over the years.Khan said Guyana has embraced the use of drones and while there was the need for protocols to protect all, the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) has been working with the Drone Association to create a glitch-free environment for operators.Drone Association in Guyana President Lancelot KhanGCAA Director General Lieutenant Colonel (ret’d) Egbert Field noted that “drones are here to stay”.“The drone technology entered into the aviation industry and is not just to be used as a toy, but also for commercial activities.”Field said drone technology has advanced so much, it has been immersed in the aviation industry. According to the Director General, there is enough room for drone technology to boost tourism in Guyana.“Let us concentrate on what we can do with drones in a productive and commercial fashion.”He too called on the “technologically savvy” youth to make the industry into something worthwhile.The drone and tourism expo forms part of activities to celebrate Tourism Awareness Month, which is observed in the month of November.