Moraikobai- Guyana’s next tourist destination- Minister Allicock promotes Community based tourism

GUYANA, GINA, Saturday, May 13, 2017

Moraikobai, the only indigenous community in Region Five is now being touted as an emerging tourist destination for Guyana.This is being hyped by the Minister of Indigenous Peoples Affairs, Sydney Allicock who visited the community with members of the Tourism and Hospitality Association of Guyana (THAG), the Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA) and Wilderness Explorers.

The community is located in the Mahaicony River and has a population of just over 1200 residents; it is approximately four hours away from Georgetown by boat.  Vice President Allicock noted that Moraikobai is strategically placed for community based tourism and is the perfect get away for persons who want a weekend of relaxation.

According to the Minister, the most important component of the having community based tourism in the community is already present; which is readiness and cooperation of the residents. Minister Allicock said that the residents are requesting internet access which will help to promote and market what the community has to offer.

“Communication is critical” the Minister stressed adding that, “here is where the village will have to do their marketing and we will help them to do that so that other tour operators would be able to know that there is a destination here”.

The Minister along with the visiting team scouted three potential sites for the erection of an Eco-lodge. The sites were found but will be deliberated upon by the residents for consensus of the most suitable site.

Moraikobai is well known for logging, however, the Minister pointed out that residents are becoming aware of the dangers continuous logging will have on the environment, hence, they are seeking alternative ways to sustain their community.

“We believe that partnership in development is the way to go and that is why we have been working closely with the Guyana Tourism Authority, the Ministry of Business and tour operators such as wilderness explorers. We also so have the Tourism and Hospitality Association of Guyana which is like the key in making this happen” Minister Allicock explained.

Andrea de Caires representing both GTA and THAG recently conducted a tourism workshop with several residents of Moraikobai and received requests for her to  visit the community to help with developing a tourism package.

Andrea related to the Government Information Agency (GINA) that Moraikobai has tremendous potential for tourism. “They have all the pieces of the puzzle, they just have to put them in place” she stated.

She highlighted that while she was there a child said to her, “aunty look at the parrots, you see they fly two, by  two, by two and I said to him, you are a bird guide, so everything is here… so we are thrilled to be here” de Caires explained.

Salvador de Caires of Wilderness Explorer noted that the idea of tourism in Moraikobai will help to keep families together while at the same time providing jobs for them. “There is no opportunity in small remote villages for them to earn money. The men would have to leave there family to earn a living, how do you break that cycle, well community tourism does that, it provides a job for them to stay in the community and earn a living” Salvador explained.

By: Isaiah Braithwaite