Product Development Initiatives Continue to Build the Tourism Industry’s Resiliency for a Strong Recovery Post Pandemic

The Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA) has taken a number of steps to continuously amplify the level of support needed by tourism and hospitality businesses to reopen and safely host guests, and build resiliency for a strong recovery post-pandemic. Of these, the provision of training and capacity building opportunities, technical review of Standard Operation Procedures (SOPs) to ensure the recommended Hygiene & Sanitation protocols are implemented, on-site inspections and supplying sanitation products and signage have been prioritised.

As a result of these initiatives, businesses have been able to conditionally reopen their businesses to safely host travellers as well as secure the relevant licenses for tourism operations. To date, 35 tourism businesses, representing 50% of Interior Lodges and Resorts, and 42.8% of Tour Companies have received conditional approvals, with Aruwai Resort White H2O being granted approval as of July 15, 2021, for a safe reopening.

The Authority continues to work towards strengthening resilience and improving the product offering of the industry, and executed key training sessions and product development activities during the past month

Hygiene & Sanitation Training
The Hygiene & Sanitation training sessions, led by Chetnauth Persaud, GTA’s Training & Tourism Development Officer aim to continuously raise awareness and educate tourism stakeholders on how to effectively yet safely manage their businesses in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Implementing the required hygiene and sanitation measures as well as educating staff, travellers, as well as community locals, will certainly set tourism businesses up for success.

On July 15 & 16, 2o participants from hotels, guesthouses, resorts and restaurant & bar operators of West Coast, Region 3 as well as West Coast-Berbice, Region 5 respectively benefitted from this training. On July 23 & 24, an additional session was held for 34 participants at the Hotel Amazonas, Lethem which was organised with the support of Visit Rupununi (VR) and the Rupununi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI).

Delivering Quality Service (DQS) Training
Guided by the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) Delivering Quality Service curriculum, the Delivering Quality Service training seeks to enlighten participants on critical visitor welcome and hospitality techniques as well as steps to improve customer service excellence to ensure that all travellers receive a high-quality experience that is consistent with both local and international standards.

27 participants of hotels, resorts, restaurants and bars from the Essequibo region were guided through these areas on July 8 – 9. These sessions were led by Tamika Inglis, the Manager of Training & Licensing as well as Chetnauth Persaud, the Training & Tourism Development Officer.

Culinary Arts Training
The GTA in collaboration with Chef Kester Robinson of Des Patisseries & The Pergola Smokehouse and Lounge has been offering Culinary Arts training to tourism-focused communities. Participants were guided through both practical and theoretical experience in food preparation and presentation. Understanding ingredients, food safety and sanitation are prioritised areas during these sessions.

20 persons from Moraikobai Village, Region 5 benefitted from this session on July 13 – 16 as they prepare to begin safely hosting travellers. An additional 17 persons from Wakapau Village, Region 2 were also privy to this training session on July 21 – 23.


Tour Guide Training
On July 13 – 16, Kenneth Butler, a Licensed Tour Guide and Adventure Travel Guide Standard Lead Trainer led a tour guide training session with 5 participants from Moraikobai Village. This session focused on improving communication skills and interpretation to better equip trainees with the skills necessary to provide quality guiding on tours.

Product Development in 3 Indigenous Communities
On July 8 – 10, GTA’s Product Development team in collaboration with the village council and the tourism committee of St. Cuthbert’s Mission, Region 4 visited a number of potential sites within the village to be included in the tour itinerary. Other sites were also identified for future development.

Santa Rosa Village, Region 1 also benefitted from a product assessment on July 14 – 16. To better prepare them for their tourism development venture, an Introduction to Tourism training session was also completed which resulted in 12 participants from the village being trained.

Guided by Omari Joseph, the Product Development Officer as well as Licensed Tour Guide Kenneth Butler, Santa Aratak Village, Region 3 was a part of a product assessment outreach.
On July 26 – 28, the team worked with participants to improve the experiences offered by the community. Santa Aratak Mission, as well as St. Cuthbert’s Mission, are two (2) of the six (6) communities which have been selected and prioritised for Community-Led and Owned Tourism Development activities in 2021.

The Director of the GTA, Carla James-Vantull emphasised that “through the Government of Guyana, the GTA will continue to deliver the necessary theoretical and practical knowledge through these training sessions and product development activities which are essential for reopening and safely hosting guests. Now more than ever as we adapt to a new norm amid the COVID-19 pandemic, meeting the demands of this ever-changing sector must be prioritised.
Tourism stakeholders understand the importance of this and are continuing to put in the work to make Guyana a Safe Destination for Travel”.

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The Government of Guyana through the Ministry of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, other Ministries and governmental agencies like the Guyana Tourism Authority are committed to transforming Guyana into a modern, multi-dimensional country. With the emergence of oil and gas and a recommitment to the traditional economy which includes tourism, one of the highest-earning sectors in Guyana, the GTA through the government will continue to provide the necessary support to tourism stakeholders to promote nature, eco and adventure tourism.

About the Guyana Tourism Authority: The Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA) is a semi-autonomous governmental organisation responsible for developing and promoting sustainable tourism in Guyana through collaboration with sister agencies and the tourism private sector in order to maximise local socio-economic and conservation outcomes and improve the travellers’ experience. The GTA is focused on Guyana becoming recognised locally and internationally as a premier destination for protecting its natural and cultural heritage, providing authentic experiences, and maximising local socio-economic benefits.

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