International birding tour operators explore Guyana’s unique prospects
GINA, GUYANA, Monday, November 07, 2016
Four United States (US) birding companies had the chance to see the many species of birds in Guyana through the Guyana Tourism Authority’s (GTA), bird expedition familiarisation tour.
The expedition commenced on November 1, at the Kaieteur National Park and ended on November 6 at the Botanical Gardens. The latter location is a haven for many types of birds. The fam exercise afforded participants the opportunity to see over 200 species of birds.
Senior Marketing Officer, GTA, Annarie Shiwram told the Government Information Agency (GINA) that Essay Expedition, Venture Birding, Eagle Eyes Tours and Wings Birding Tours took part in the fam tour.
Shiwram said that the main aim of this activity was for the US tour operators to come to Guyana, “to see if they like the destination, and if they can sell the destination in their tourism package back home.”
Shiwram noted that it was a short itinerary to ensure that they saw as many species of birds as possible.
Some of the places the tour operators visited according to Shiwram were the Kaieteur Falls and the Kaieteur National Park, Surama, Atta Lodge, and the Iwokrama International Rainforest and Conservation project.
Salvador de Caires, one of the local tour guides, told the Government Information Agency (GINA) that Guyana is very beautiful and expressed happiness that he was born there.
“The first day we flew into Kaieteur and Kaieteur is very low at the moment, but Kaieteur is always beautiful when its high … saw quite a few of the birds that we wanted to see. We did not find the golden frog which is okay, but we found three orchids flowering, which make up for that,” De Caires said.
Nick Stanziano, who owns a birding tour company based in California, said that Guyana is a remarkable country. “Guyana has been fantastic,
I own a company that focuses on South American travel, specifically tourists to South America. So I travel a lot around the continent and Guyana was one of the countries that I haven’t visited, have heard so much about, so after six days, it’s a special place because its untouched, its virgin, the experience of spending six days without seeing another foreign tourist is pretty special.”
Stanziano, asked to say how he would sell Guyana, replied, “Well a lot of clients come and say that we want to go to the Amazon, so a lot of Americans say the Amazon, they don’t particularly connect it with a specific country. The question is what are their expectations of the Amazon? I think that there is a big piece of the market that when they think of the Amazon, we think of Guyana and they would love to see virgin forest, noting that virgin experience in the Amazon is lost, and I think that Guyana is one of the places that you can truly sell as a virgin Amazon experience.”
Tourism Awareness Month is being observed under the theme-“Tourism for All, Building Partnerships For Tourism Development.”
Some of the activities for the month-long observation include; Visitors’ Appreciation Day at the Cheddi Jagan International and the Eugene F. Correia International Airports, on November 11, Tourism Reconnaissance Visit- St. Cuthbert’s Mission/Mahaica River on November 12, and the Rockstone Fish Festival at Rockstone Village, Region 10 on November 12-13.
By Gabreila Patram
Tags- birds, GTA, tour operators, tourism