Tourism Awareness Month 2022 wrap up – All Sectors, One Tourism
Tourism Awareness Month is celebrated every year in Guyana in the month of November. This year’s theme – All Sectors, One Tourism champions the Government of Guyana’s One Guyana policy, which solidifies the Government’s approach to fostering a much more inclusive society.
Tourism has become one of the main engines of economic, social and environmental development in Guyana. Now, as we conclude Tourism Awareness Month, it is important that we understand that tourism is everybody’s business and by strengthening the collaborative efforts among various Ministries, agencies as well as the private sector, and of course through regional integration the results will be significant. This is the underlying meaning of our theme – All Sectors, One Tourism. The Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA) has engaged all of the Regional Tourism Committees, associations and other stakeholders to develop a calendar of activities for the month. Of the list of activities executed throughout this month by the GTA, the following should be noted:
● LAUNCH OF TOURISM AWARENESS MONTH IN LINDEN: Linden, Region 10 boasts a unique tourism potential, championed by Governmental support. To date, they are one of the most proactive and equally consistent regions when it comes to tourism development and promotion in Guyana. The pristine blue lakes and black water creeks are true highlights, not forgetting the beautifully sandy trails and magnetic hospitality.
Special invitees included the Hon. Brigadier (Ret’d), Mark Anthony Phillips, Prime Minister of Guyana who delivered the featured address, Honourable Oneidge Walrond, Minister of Tourism, Industry & Commerce, Kamrul Baksh, Director of the GTA, Harrinand Persaud, President of THAG, Devin Sears, Chairman of the Region 10 Tourism Committee, the Mayor of Linden, Her Worship Waneka Arindell and US Ambassador to Guyana, Sarah-Ann Lynch.
Wayne’s World Apartments and Oasis, located in Amelia’s Ward, Linden was also launched to coincide with the beginning of Tourism Awareness Month.
● TOURISM AWARENESS MONTH SPECIAL TOUR PACKAGES – https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?vanity=GuyanaTourismAuthority&set=a.508329481335323
● PAINTING AND NATURE EVENT – As part of fulfilling its Corporate Social Responsibility, and in celebration of Tourism Awareness Month, the GTA hosted a group of children from Joshua House, Shaheed’s Boys & Girls Orphanage and St Ann’s Girls Orphanage. These children were treated to an exciting day of painting guided by Mr Randy Bentinck, a lecturer attached to the E.R. Burrowes School of Arts. They were afforded creative freedom to paint whatever they were inspired to and Mr Bentinck demonstrated the utmost patience and knowledge as he guided their curious minds to create their own masterpieces.
● WORLD TRAVEL MARKET 2022 – Honourable Oneidge Walrond, the Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce along with Kamrul Baksh, the Director of the Guyana Tourism Authority and other tourism stakeholders represented Guyana at the World Travel Market 2022 at ExCel London. Of the most notable engagements, the Honourable Minister held a meeting with Dr Ernest Hilaire, St. Lucia’s Minister of Tourism, Investment, Creative Industries, Culture and Information. The Honourable Minister also participated in a CTO-led interview where she emphasised the Government of Guyana’s plans to continue working with sister Caribbean countries to develop and market regional tourism. She also attended the Minister’s Summit at WTM in association with UNWTO and WTTC re: Rethinking Tourism. Other engagements include meetings with different international travel companies to pique their interest in marketing Destination Guyana to their respective audiences.
● TOURISM AWARENESS SCHOOL TALKS – The GTA hosted a very enthusiastic group of children from Mae’s Primary School. These children were enlightened on what tourism is and how they can be tourism ambassadors. When asked about why they love Guyana, their answers were just as enthusiastic as they were adorable. Our team also gave them a tour of the GTA’s office where they met other team members, as well as treated them to a short lesson on the meaning of the artwork on our walls, which they found very fascinating.
● MEDIA FAMILIARISATION TOUR – The Director of the Guyana Tourism Authority – Kamrul Baksh participated in a Media Familiarisation (FAM) Tour in Regions 5, 6 & 9 hosted by the Ministry of Tourism, Industry & Commerce and the Guyana Tourism Authority. This tour focused on exposing the local media to various tourism destinations across Guyana in an effort to create content and further promote this beautiful country.
● INTERNATIONAL FAMILIARISATION TOUR – During November 12 – 22, 2022, the Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA) hosted a travel trade familiarisation trip with a group of international travel agents and tour operators from the UK, Canada and Belgium. Seven (7) of the participants are completely new additions and have never promoted Destination Guyana before. As the GTA continues its promotional efforts, not only on a local scale but internationally, these partnerships will create an avenue for a much greater level of international promotion of the beauty of Destination Guyana.
● EXPERIENTIAL PRODUCT LAUNCH – During Tourism Awareness Month, the GTA launched ten (10) new experiential tourism products in collaboration with the tourism private sector – Wanderlust Adventures GY, Singing Chef Adventures, Tourism Guyana
and Paruima Village. This makes 17 new tourism products launched in 2022 by the GTA. The initial target was 12.
● VISIT MORAIKOBAI SIGN UNVEILING – The GTA in collaboration with Rainforest Tours unveiled a “Visit Moraikobai” sign in an effort to enhance the village’s tourism experience. Moraikobai is the only Indigenous community located within Region 5.
● TRAINING –
○ The GTA facilitated a Financial Management Training session led by Mr Marlon George, a master trainer attached to the GTA. This session was made possible through a collaborative effort by the GTA and the Guyana National Co-operative Union Limited (GNCUL).
○ The GTA facilitated an Introduction to Tourism with representatives from Sand Creek Village, South Rupununi. These sessions formed part of a series of training being conducted under the South Rupununi Circuit Development project which seeks to enhance tourism experiences within the South Rupununi region. It also places emphasis on the GTA’s commitment to diversifying and expanding tourism circuit development in Guyana.
○ The GTA facilitated a Tour Guide Training at Kaieteur National Park. This training was held in partnership with the Protected Areas Commission with the aim of improving the skill set of tour guides attached to KNP and by extension improving the level of experience that patrons will have when they visit.
● JUST-TRI TRIATHLON MIXED RELAY – The GTA hosted its inaugural Just-Tri Triathlon Mixed Relay as part of its Tourism Awareness Month official calendar of activities. Most notably, one participant, Uttamkumar Isurdeen, a wheelchair athlete, explained that he sees these types of events as inclusive opportunities for him to defy the odds and prove to himself and others that despite his physical limitations, he can achieve anything. He has been taking part in various 5k and 10k events for the past 6 years. He is an inspiration to many.
● TOURISM GOLF TOURNAMENT – The GTA in partnership with NexGen Golf Academy launched the first Tourism Golf Tournament in Blairmont, Berbice. There is a nexus between sports and tourism and events such as the golf challenge will bring a higher level of awareness and participation in sports.
● TOURISM ENTREPRENEUR WORKSHOP – The Director of the GTA, Mr Kamrul Baksh led a Tourism Entrepreneur Workshop in Region 2 as part of our Tourism Awareness Month Calendar of Events. Participants were guided through areas which focus on experiential tourism development including experiential travel planning and development, customer service, tour experience design, storytelling and of course, tourism financial planning.
● TOURISM SITE ENHANCEMENT – The GTA donated a number of items to the Region 7 Tourism Committee in an effort to enhance Fort Kyk-Over-Al, one of the country’s most prominent historical attractions. This initiative also created an opportunity for the GTA to strengthen its relationship with the National Trust of Guyana. Historical sites remain one of the most significant parts of Guyana’s rich cultural heritage and must be treated with respect during visits.
● TOURISM FITNESS TREK & VILLAGE TOUR – The Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA) officially executed its Tourism Fitness Trek & Village Tour in St Cuthbert’s Mission/Pakuri. This determined group of people pushed themselves to their limit and successfully completed the 2-hour, 6-miles trek into the village, most of whom surprised themselves.
● GUYANA FISHING FESTIVAL – The Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA) in collaboration with Adventure Guianas officially launched the Guyana Fishing Festival at Makari within the Essequibo River, the first of its kind in the country. The Director of the GTA – Kamrul Baksh during his remarks emphasized that “this event solidifies the GTA’s promotional efforts of sports fishing as a sustainable tourism enterprise and fosters the empowerment of the Indigenous communities such as Fairview that are integrally involved in the planning and execution of this event.” He further expressed, “The GTA is happy to partner with Navin on such a novel event and we look forward to its inevitable success.”
● WARAPOKA BOAT DONATION – The Guyana Tourism Authority(GTA) in collaboration with Iwokrama, Environmental Management Consultants, and ExxonMobil recently donated a boat to Warapoka Village, Region 1. This boat will significantly reduce the costs attached to traveling to Warapoka as well as improve the comfort level of travelers going into the village. The implementation of this boat will also contribute to an additional stream of revenue being injected into the village through boat transfers.