GTA started development work with a new community to create adventure tourism experiences in Region 7

Throughout the last two weeks of April, the Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA) completed a series of training sessions, product development outreaches as well as inspections as part of its commitment to continuously develop Guyana’s tourism sector as well as promote safe travel amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Introduction to Tourism Training – On April 18-22, the Product Development team visited Phillipai, Region 7  to conduct an  Introduction to  Tourism training session.  This visit is a response to the Phillipai village council expressing interest to the GTA in 2020 in developing a tourism experience in their community. As part of the 6-step process in GTA’s Community Led and Owned Tourism (CLOT) Framework to develop new tourism experience and enterprises, community members were educated about what is travel and tourism, advised of the importance of good governance, and best practices in formulating an official tourism committee. The participants were provided with community tourism development models as well as guidance on Community-Led and Owned tourism (CLOT) terms of reference. The sessions were guided by the Product Development Facilitation Officer, Clyde  Edwards and Product Development Officer, Omari Joseph.

Product Refinement Outreaches & Assessments – On April 19-22, Candace Phillips, Manager of  Product  Development executed an outreach in Karasabai, Region 9. During this period, hygiene and sanitation protocols were implemented as well as protocols to ensure governance of the establishment of their tourism product.

Further, on April 20 – May 5, as part of the development  of  SAVE  (Scientific,  Academic, Volunteer & Education) Travel in Guyana, the GTA partnered with the Wallacea Trust  (Operation Wallacea – OpWall), a UK based charity that runs a series of international conservation projects built  around  the  concept  of  providing  financial  incentives for local  communities to conduct tourism and market product assessments in three (3) communities: Warapoka in Region 1,

Karasabai, and Sand Creek in Region 9. The aim of the assessment was to determine routes, activities, and other important details required to develop new itineraries within the areas. As part of the team’s visit, meetings were held with the Tourism Committees on their plans for tourism development and identification of potential attractions which can be developed in the future. The aim of working with OpWall is to develop and market week-long wildlife and cultural itineraries and use the development of community based tourism  as  a model to encourage communities to safeguard their wildlife.

Santa Aratack Mission, Region 3 also benefited from a product development outreach which sought to conduct a thorough assessment to determine the community’s potential for unique and authentic tour attractions as well as to deliver training in various management models, tourism product identification and general tourism data. The completion of this assessment will form the basis of the community’s Tourism Development Action Plan.

Inspections – On April 23 & 24, inspections were conducted at  13 hotels and 4 restaurants and bars in Regions 5 & 6. The Berbice Inn has since been approved for indoor dining at a maximum capacity of 12 persons. Under the current gazetted emergency safety measures, restaurants and bars are permitted to operate at a 40% capacity of the establishment but must also follow the health and safety protocols developed to allow restaurants and bars to operate in a safe way. The GTA as part of its monitoring role requires businesses to develop written SOPs and conducts inspections randomly or at the request of the businesses and issues public signs at the establishment to indicate the approval status and capacity allowed.

Patrons can check the GTA Facebook page for a list of approved tourism establishments and approved restaurants as well as a list of the suspended tourism establishments and suspended restaurants & bars.

Conditional  Approvals for  Reopening  –  As of  April,  31  tourism businesses have been granted conditional approvals for reopening. The most recent being Adventure Guianas, Bimichi Eco  Lodge,  Jungle  Bug,  Kanuku  Tours,  Manari  Ranch, Old Fort Tours, Ride Along GY and Roraima Tours. We would like to take this time to recognise and commend all those businesses that have been taking the necessary steps to ensure that their businesses meet all of the requirements to be able to successfully and safely operate in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is through these important, resilient steps that we are able to continuously propel the sector towards recovery.

For information on the GTA’s licensing process as well as the training schedule, stakeholders are asked to contact     the Manager of Training and Licensing, Tamika Inglis at tamika@guyanatourism.com. 

For community development initiatives, contact the Manager of Product Development, Candace Phillips at candace@guyanatourism.com. You can also call 219-0055.

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About the  Guyana  Tourism  Authority:  The  Guyana  Tourism  Authority  (GTA)  is a semi-autonomous governmental organisation responsible for developing and promoting sustainable tourism in Guyana through collaboration with sister agencies and the tourism private sector in order to maximise local socio-economic and conservation outcomes and improve the travellers’  experience.  The  GTA  is focused on  Guyana becoming recognised locally and internationally as a premier destination for protecting its natural and cultural heritage, providing authentic experiences, and maximising local socio-economic benefits.

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