Draft National Tourism Policy completed, to be submitted to National Assembly soon
GINA, GUYANA, Wednesday, November 2, 2016
There is a push to get more Guyanese involved in promoting their country’s tourism potential. The National Tourism Policy, after wide consultation with stakeholders, has been completed and will be presented to National Assembly shortly.
Director General of Tourism, Donald Sinclair told the Government Information Agency (GINA) that the policy will focus primarily on enlightening residents of the regions of the economic impact of expanding tourism through ongoing training.
Sinclair explained that the emphasis on communities is an important step towards further heightening activities in the tourism industry. “We want to get regions more involved in tourism planning. We want regions to put tourism activities on their budget so that the infrastructure works that they have in mind for their region, they could see how those infrastructural works will benefit tourism,” Sinclair explained.
This policy will be the first of its kind in Guyana; it will be a reference to guide the tourism sector for the next five years, and will be continuously reviewed to update recommendations, Sinclair said.
Additionally, efforts to develop the tourism products and Guyana’s image as a destination must be done in accordance with what Guyana determines to be its needs. This requires a precise definition of the types of tourism that are compatible, not only with the products that Guyana has to offer, but also with what the country hopes to achieve from tourism development, Sinclair explained.
“The document sets out where we want to go as a destination; this is why it had to be based on consultations. We had to find what the industry wanted, what communities, wanted, what stakeholders wanted, what consultants have recommended in terms of marketing the product, and human resource training and promotion strategies,” Sinclair added.
Tourism development must be supplemented by the provision of adequate security. Therefore the policy will provide standards and regulations for licencing tour operators, for building eco-tourist resorts, and for those involved in customer services such as taxi and boat drivers, and hotels and restaurants.
Additionally, policies to protect the environment and promote safety will be complemented to attract investment.
Guyana’s focus is on eco-tourism, cruise visits and yachting as part of selling the country more effectively on the international market. Tourism can create employment, enhance economic welfare and improve the physical, economic and social aspects of villages.
By: Ranetta La Fleur