Tech-Innovative Committee lays out plans to boost local tourism

—Telecommunication to play vital role in growth and sustainability the sector

DPI, Guyana, Friday, July 24, 2020

The Tourism Action Recovery Committee (TRAC) hosted a webinar yesterday, July 23, 2020, to discuss the Tech-Innovative Committee’s current projects and initiatives in the field of public telecommunications that have a bearing upon tourism recovery.

The first project in this recovery is featured by the Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA), in collaboration with the Ministry of Indigenous People’s Affair.

GTA’s project aims to guide the development of community-led and owned tourism enterprises based on past investments, community receptivity to tourism, market access and product development opportunities.

The second initiative identified is a capacity building programme which will be conducted by the Industry and Innovation Education and Outreach arm of the Ministry of Public Telecommunications.

Director of Community Development and Social Management of the National Data Management Authority (NDMA), and spokesperson for the Tech-Innovative Committee, Phillip Walcott, noted that the capacity building programme will be designed to produce desirable outcomes.

Walcott explained that the programme is expected to improve the development of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) business incubators whilst partnering with the private sector.

Modernised legislation for industry growth, quality of service regulations for consumer protection and developing a forecasting roadmap for the seamless incorporation of next technology and related services are among the specific deliverables.

The committee’s third project falls under the access of ICT and will seek to improve and provide greater ITC access and e-services for hinterland, poor and remote communities, as well as enhance the delivery of government services for difficult to reach and unserved population groups.

In his presentation Walcott related that to date, 200 communities have been identified for the establishment of ICT hubs.

These communities are located in each of the administrative regions: with Region One receiving 22 ICT hubs; 7 each for Regions Tow and Three; 15 for Region Four, two and four for Regions 5 and 6 respectively, 33 for Region 3, 21 for Region 8, 52 for Region 9, and 37 ICT hubs for Region 10.

Walcott explained that the communities were selected by the Tech-Innovative Committee along with representatives from government agencies and various Indigenous People’s groups.

Each hub will be equipped with Very Small Aperture Terminals (VSATs), all-inclusive Solar Solutions (solar power will be provided for each hub), free monthly VSAT Bandwidth and Network services, 12 laptops along with one printer and one scanner, a 32-inch television and security lights and cameras.

Walcott noted, “the project will be going community by community and conducting training to ensure that persons are computer literate, and at the very minimum, can search websites and access government agencies websites.”

The project will also provide training in business development through the internet in  various communities.

“One of the targets of this project is to enable these communities to raise their standard of living through developing and expanding their business. Also, maintaining Indigenous culture through technology and to enable the indigenous communities to maintain and preserve their culture,” Walcott relayed.

He concluded that telecommunications will play a vital role in the growth and sustainability of tourism in Guyana.