Major tourism development for Sand Creek in 2018
DPI Guyana, December 27, 2017
Sand Creek will be the first of five villages, to capitalise on an initiative between the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs and the Ministry of Business, that will see hinterland communities benefitting from major support in 2018, for the development of eco-tourism.
The initiative is part of government’s plan to promote economic growth and community development through the creation of nature-based and community-based eco-tourism businesses in indigenous communities.
During a recent visit by Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Sydney Allicock to the Region Nine community, residents conveyed their interest in developing their tourism product.
Minister Allicock then urged the Village Council to organise their residents in order to capitalise on the opportunity being offered to them. The Minister disclosed that, come January 2018, discussions will begin between the ministries and the people.
“…So, from there we can move the process forward. Get your people because you are going to manage it yourself, nobody is going to manage it for you, they are going to help to train you. We have tour operators who are keen on coming to visit you, but they want to come knowing that you are ready …I want to be sure that you are in agreement so that we can move on from there”, Minister Allicock stated.
Minister Allicock further explained that the communities will receive funding and training. The ministry will also facilitate exchanges with other successful tourism communities (Rewa and Surama) so that they can learn from the other’s experiences.
Additionally, in 2017, Sand Creek received $5M to establish an eco-lodge as part of its Community Development Project (CDP). Sand Creek is the largest Indigenous community in the South Rupununi and is surrounded by the Kanuku mountain range and can offer nature trail hikes, wildlife, and other nature-based attractions, as well as the indigenous residents’ rich culture.
Additionally, another five (5) villages; Karassabai, Warapoka, Moraikobai, Great Falls and Assakata will receive support totalling $17.5M to build eco-tourism lodges, benabs, nature trails, and provide training of tour guides, customer service, and hospitality.
These initiatives will pave the way for the communities to put their natural resources to productive use in a sustainable manner. It will also strengthen, promote, preserve, and conserve the eco-systems and Indigenous peoples’ traditions and culture as well as providing jobs for the local people.
By: Synieka Thorne
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