Restoration of Guyana-Suriname ferry service

September 28, 2019 – The news about the restart of operations of the Guyana-Suriname ferry service has been greeted with a mix of relief and enthusiasm by commuters and companies on both sides of the Corentyne River. Both the relief and the enthusiasm underscore the importance of the connectivity between the territories and reveal the extent of the inconvenience suffered during the period of the suspension of the Canawaima ferry service.

Figures released by the Guyana Tourism Authority point to increases in traffic between Guyana and Suriname. Passage through South Drain, on the Suriname side, and Moleson Creek, on the Guyana side reflects travels originating in Suriname, French Guiana as well as in other points of origin in South America.  A cross-river facility is therefore indispensable to any flow of traffic originating beyond Guyana’s eastern border.

Restoration of the ferry service is welcome but critical to the ease of travel between the territories is that body of rules and requirements that govern trans-border movement. Most desirable is that such arrangements, whether relating to visas, movement of goods,

Connecting the Guianas

The Department of Tourism in the Ministry of Business, recently convened a Task Force to organize a Tourism Expo of the Guianas, scheduled for the first weekend in February 2020 As part of the planning for this event, a Tourism delegation from Guyana visited Paramaribo and Suriname to meet tourism stakeholders, share and listen to perspectives regarding the Guianas as a single geo-destination. In discussions in both Suriname and French Guiana, the matter of connectivity loomed large. While there are four or more air carriers connecting Guyana and Suriname, the ferry link was seen as important to the viability of the Guianas concept, second only in significance to the construction of an actual bridge that links Guyana with Suriname.

Hassle-free travel

Restoration of the ferry service is welcome but critical to the ease of travel between the territories is that body of rules and requirements that govern trans-border movement. Most desirable is that such arrangements, whether relating to visas, movement of goods,

leisure or business travel, must occur with the minimum of hassle or inconvenience to the travelling public. A total systems review would look at all aspects of the travel experience to ensure that security and control are not achieved at the expense of passenger comfort and convenience.

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