Environmental sustainability must be at the forefront of tourism efforts – PM Phillips

Prime Minister Brigadier (Ret’d) Mark Phillips emphasised that Guyana’s ambition to become a tourism hub must prioritise environmental sustainability.

The Prime minister was at the time delivering the feature address at the launching of the 2024 edition of the ‘Explore Guyana’ magazine, at the Herdmanston Lodge on Wednesday.

He pointed out that Guyana has a wealth of natural resources and rich biodiversity, and these elements unlock vast potential for the tourism sector.

PM Phillips underscored the government’s commitment to expanding eco-tourism, aiming for economic growth while safeguarding the integrity of Guyana’s natural environment.

Stressing the importance of protecting eco-tourism products from degradation and contamination, he emphasised the need for sustainable practices to ensure long-term viability.

“We must cultivate a heightened consciousness regarding environmental stewardship and commit to minimizing pollution and littering in all its forms to present the best version of ourselves. It is crucial to strike a delicate balance, ensuring that increased visitation does not compromise the pristine state of our natural wonders,” PM Phillips added.

These efforts have even received international recognition.

Recently, Guyana was awarded the Destination of the Year in the Ecological Tourism category by the Pacific Area Travel Writers Association (PATWA). This award sheds light on the country’s growing emergence as a sanctuary for eco-conscious travellers.

“From thrilling jungle expeditions, and exhilarating outdoor adventures to immense cultural, educational, and sporting experiences…. Guyana offers something for every traveller. By strategically investing in the sectors and showcasing the unique attractions they offer, Guyana can unlock more and more enormous opportunities for growth, drawing in visitors from around the world,” the prime minister added.

With this in mind, PM Phillips said that this year’s edition of the magazine marks another significant milestone in the government and private sector’s efforts to showcase destination Guyana to the rest of the world.

He highlighted the pivotal role that ‘Explore Guyana’ has played in highlighting Guyana’s cultural splendours and aesthetic natural wonders, and commended its consistency in capturing these elements.

“We must also highlight the warmth of our people, the richness of our traditions, and the sense of tranquillity that pervades our environment. Tourism fulfils a crucial role in providing visitors with a fleeting escape, a profound and enriching experience that lingers in their hearts long after they have departed our shores,” the PM said.

Meanwhile, British High Commissioner to Guyana, Jane Miller said that the United Kingdom will continue to work with stakeholders in boosting Guyana’s tourism industry.

“The UK values eco-tourism, because it is important to the economy of the country, and as Guyana diversifies its economy, tourism is an important part of that,” she said.

This year’s edition of the magazine invites nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers to delve into the breathtaking beauty of Guyana.

The cover features the majestic Hoatzin, famously known as the ‘Canje Pheasant’, which is the national bird of Guyana.