Guyana is a non-spoiled gem that has to be discovered- National Geographic team
GINA, GUYANA, Friday, November 11, 2016
A team from the National Geographic Magazine has described Guyana as one of the nicest, unspoilt countries in the world, and a gem that has to be discovered.
Journalist Marco Barneveld, and photographer, Rene Kaster, are in Guyana on a Familiarisation Tour (Fam Tour) hosted by the Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA) in observance of Tourism Awareness Month. The team departs Guyana tomorrow, having arrived on November 7.
Barneveld said that he has been enjoying Guyana tremendously. “It’s one of the nicest unspoiled countries we have been to, one thing that must be said here that we were seduced by your rum to come here.”
The journalist said that they were in Alaska and, they were having a conversation about rum and were trying to decide which rum is better. He said a Guyanese was present during that conversation and asked “if we have ever tried this rum and we tried it and were left speechless,” he stated. He noted that the rum was not the main reason why they should visit, but “it was definitely the push.”
Barneveld explained that they have seen Georgetown and the Interior and they have also been to Costa Rica, which has many American tourists and, “frankly I don’t understand why they are not coming here. It’s a non-spoiled gem that has to be discovered!”
Kaster noted that he was surprised by the beauty of this country and pointed out that he has seen many places but none “so beautiful as Guyana”. Kaster also noted the hospitality of the people of the communities that they visited. “The people are great as well, how they talk to you, how they behave, how they look at you, the humor they use and they are very friendly.”
Tourism Awareness Month is being observed under the theme-“Tourism for All- Building Partnerships for Tourism Development”.
GTA’s Logistics Manager, Carla Chandra expressed joy with the partnership with Wilderness Explorers to host the journalist and photographer from National Geographic. Chandra said that GTA continues to recognise Fam tours as a very cost effective means of marketing the destination (Guyana); many of which, she noted have delivered results.
“Fam tours have gotten us listed in catalogs, expanded our sales distribution, (and) features being done in international publications including the National Geographic Magazine,” Chandra said.
Chandra explained that Fam tour participants are offered first hand opportunity to experience Guyana’s products and services. “It’s only
when someone is armed with the actual experience that they can positively and actively sell the destination, in this case Guyana, so with this, the GTA will continue to partner with the private sector to host many more Fam trips.”
President of the Tourism and Hospitality Association Guyana (THAG), and Product Development Specialist at Wilderness Explorers, Andrea de Caires said that in September she had the pleasure of attending the Adventure Travel World Summit in Alaska, where she met the journalist and photographer.
The THAG President said that they told her that they were going to be in Suriname and she urged them to visit Guyana.
“Marco and Rene and I were in conversation; they mentioned that they were going to Suriname and I was like you are right next door, you have to come discover Guyana South America,” De Caires said.
De Caires said they took on the challenge and they spoke to their Editor-in-Chief, and through partnership with their tourism partners “they were able to bring and host them and to give them all the magic of Guyana in a short period of time.”
“They were able to go to Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL) and spend four hours and learn about our rum, went on a 206 (plane) without the doors on to Kaieteur to take great pictures, they also stayed at Surama Eco Lodge and overnighted,” THAG’s President said.
By Gabreila Patram