Guyana, Suriname to start process of promoting tourism in the Guianas

GINA, GUYANA, September 8, 2016

Minister of Business, Dominic Gaskin is scheduled to meet with Suriname’s Minister of Transport, Communication and Tourism, Andojo Rusland on September 9, to discuss matters related to the promotion of tourism in the Guianas.

Minister Gaskin will be accompanied by Director of Tourism, Donald Sinclair along with Theadra Williams of the Business Ministry.

Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, during a post-Cabinet press briefing at the Ministry of the Presidency today, explained that the engagement is a follow-up to a visit by President David Granger to Suriname, to discuss a joint approach to developing the Guiana Shield as a green tourism destination.

Minister of State, Mr. Joseph Harmon.

Minister of State, Mr. Joseph Harmon.

Minister Harmon noted that the meeting between the Ministry of Business and the Surinamese Minister is aimed at taking that process forward.

The engagement will also address the removal of the hassle involved in travelling between the two countries. In 2015, some local minibus operators working the Guyana/ Suriname route complained about unfair treatment by the Surinamese authorities.

Additionally, the Minister of Business will also be participating in a Business Meeting and State of the Industry Conference of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) to be held in Bridgetown, Barbados this month-end. The conference is aimed at addressing the state of the Caribbean’s tourism industry, its growth, competitiveness challenges and its tourism products.

Guyana is a member of the CTO, and is one of the few non-sand and sea tourism destinations. According to Harmon, the country beings a unique perspective to the organisation and the conference is a great opportunity to present the arrangement of promoting the Guiana Shield along with Suriname and French Guiana, as a Caribbean destination.

The Guiana Shield is a 1.7 billion-year-old Precambrian geological formation in northeast South America. The higher elevations are the Guiana Highlands, with flat-topped mountains and are the source of some of the world’s most spectacular waterfalls such as Angel Falls and Kaieteur Falls.

The Shield underlies Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana and parts of Brazil and Colombia. It has one of the highest levels of biodiversity in the world, and is the natural habitat of numerous endemic species of mammals, fresh water fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and insects. The Shield also sustains one of the largest blocks of primary tropical rain forest worldwide.