Moraikobai, next tourism destination?

GINA, GUYANA, Monday, December 12, 2016

After an assessment of the village of Moraikobai, and consultations with the village’s residents, Director of the Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA), Indranauth Haralsingh has profferred that the Region Five location could be the next local tourism destination.

Haralsingh, along with a team of tour operators, and expert bird guides  visited the community over the weekend to meet with residents, to assess the tourism potential and ascertain the necessary help that would boost tourism in the community.

Director, Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA), Indranauth Haralsingh addressing residents of Moraikobai during a visit to the community

The GTA Director said that the aim of the visit to the community is in keeping with the mandate of the agency, which is to diversify and develop tourism in Guyana,  especially community-based tourism.

Haralsingh explained that Moraikobai has tourism attractions including birding, wildlife, culture and craft especially the eta palm ornaments, and this can help promote the community’s tourism attraction.

“The culture here is alive and rich; we had the experience of seeing how they extract juices from the cassava, and  many other things, and this show the skill of the indigenous people,” Haralsingh said.

According to the Director, the community has over 1000 residents of the Arawak tribe who are also friendly and hospitable, which is a key skill in promoting tourism. He added that the delicacies prepared by the Moraikobai guest house are very enticing and can lure any foreign visitor or even local ones. “We looked at the tacuma worm delicacy here which can be eaten raw, or cooked. This place is just amazing, especially if you are looking for adventure, or just the authentic, generic rich Arawak culture, or even escape for wildlife this is the place.”

This villager is squeezing out the cassava juice using the matapee

There is the opportunity for the construction of benabs to further entice visitors and the community can be a new safari route. “Coming through the sand trail, is unique and different from the Pakaraima mountain trail. One of the things we have seen immediately is the opportunity for a new safari route and the safari club can do safari trips for more than a weekend,” Haralsingh explained.

The GTA Director lauded the residents for their skill in advertising their community’s tourism potential, which includes “your natural flavours, arts and paintings which are good for tourism. I also see coconut trees and persons like coconut water as well.”

He also commended the residents for cooperating, and for their hospitality in greeting visitors and preparation of the meals. “This is a good example to the rest of Guyana, the cooperative cleaning you did also is good, it shows you are taking pride in your environment,” the director emphasised.

Haralsingh promised to return to the community shortly to provide the necessary help to make  Moraikobai’s tourism dream a reality.

The Director said a similar visit was done at St. Cuthbert’s Mission, Region Four, and plans are underway to visit other communities including Warapoka, Region One, Orealla, Region Six, and communities in the South Rupununi, villages in Region Eight, and other areas where there is great tourism potential.

Villagers displaying their culture to the visitors

Meanwhile, Toshao Colin Andrews and deputy Toshao of the community, Mary Joseph both commended the team for the visit. Andrews said  it was the first of its kind and expressed hope that there would be others.

He explained that this could boost the community and create employment especially for the youths who have been migrating due to no employment opportunities in the community. Andrews said, “I have been concentrating on creating eco-tourism here, and I’m also glad this would be a new route for the safari since this would be potential for annual events here.

Joseph said through the visit, the women in the community will have an opportunity to showcase their talents and earn an income from selling their handicrafts, cassava bread and other items. She said she was very grateful for the visit as it would significantly transform the lives of the residents.

Some of the villagers of Moraikobai present at the meeting with Director, Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA), Indranauth Haralsingh

Further, Managing Director of Rainforest Tours, Frank Singh, said the community definitely presents an opportunity for tourism. He said the wildlife, fishing and culture can attract tourists and this would be good for the community. “We do annual trips to different areas, this is our first visit here and I’m looking at bringing a safari here. There are a variety of activities that can be done here and the village is hospitable unlike others.”

Singh has been spearheading the Pakaraima Mountain Safari for many years.

While in the community, the  team visited the beach area and the trail, had a boat trip and was entertained by the village’s cultural group.

By: Ranetta La Fleur

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