Tourism and Sugar? Why not!
─ GuySuCo embarks on Sugar Tourism!
─ “Sugar Museum” and “Sugar Heritage Park” in talks
DPI, Guyana, Wednesday, August 21, 2019
As the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) continues to move towards self-sustainability, the organisation is in the process of developing what is being called their Cultural Heritage (Sugar) Tourism product.
This tourism product is a new business line which has been integrated into GuySuCo’s Strategic Plan 2019-2021. The additional revenue earner is not expected to clash with the core business model of GuySuCo, as Corporate Communications Officer, Audreyanna Thomas explains.
“This is part of us experimenting with blending tourism into production while we still do our core business which is producing sugar and molasses and using the same resources to do that.”
To this end, the corporation has decided to host several tour operators and members of the media to give them a sample of the familiarisation-tour and receive feedback on what could be a new and quite lucrative product.
Tour Coordinator for Rainforest Tours, Lisa Smith, explained that while there are a few areas where improvement can be made to develop a rapport between the proposed guides and the tourists, the product of itself is more than ready.
“They already have the product, they already have everything in place, safety, security, it’s just about smoothing out the rough edges with agencies such as the Guyana Tourism Authority stepping in and providing that training and you know providing pointers on how to conduct these tours.”
Product Development Specialist with Wilderness Explorers, Salvador deCaires, shared similar sentiments, but for him, even more, could be done with the resources available to GuySuCo.
“I can see adding on to it, I can see doing it as a half-day tour, doing it as a full-day tour, adding on both the conservancy which is right at the back here; adding on the Demerara Distilleries at one end and the conservancy on the other end, even as part of an Essequibo tour. You have a week’s activity here that we could do with this being part of the week’s activity, I could add this into itineraries easily.”
This tour package will be part of a larger effort by the Guyana Sugar Corporation to better preserve and develop innovative ways of transferring knowledge on sugar and its history thereby telling the story of sugar from generation to generation.
To be able to effectively do this, the corporation is currently exploring opportunities for funding and support from international organisations and universities to conduct an inventory of tangible and intangible assets relative to the culture and heritage of the sugar industry and design and construct a “Sugar Museum” and a “Sugar Heritage Park” at the old factory at the former Leonora Estate.