Tourism – Good News for Guyana!

– Fruitful roundtable discussions held with Senior Editors of the local media and tourism stakeholders

The Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA), Press Release – Georgetown, Guyana (September 6, 2018)

The Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA), in collaboration with the Department of Tourism (DoT), held a roundtable discussion today with Senior Editors of the local media. The discussion was geared towards crafting a new relationship between the media and the Ministry of Business/DoT and GTA and the tourism sector in order to create a positive narrative about Guyana and strengthen the destination’s brand image.

“We need to take control over the narrative, as there is a danger of being branded by others as we’ve never actively branded Guyana ourselves,” explained Dominic Gaskin, Minister of Business with responsibility for tourism. “The image of our country transcends the tourism sector and it is a shared responsibility to paint a more positive image of Guyana.”

Senior Editors from media houses such as the Department of Public Information,

Guyana Chronicle, Stabroek News, Kaieteur News, Newsroom Guyana, HGPTV-Channel 67 among others participated in an open forum discussion with Minister of Business Dominic Gaskin; Director General of the Department of Tourism, Mr. Donald Sinclair; Director of the Guyana Tourism Authority, Mr. Brian Mullis; President of the Tourism and Hospitality Association of Guyana, Mr. Mitra Ramkumar, General Manager of Wilderness Explorers, Andrea de Caires; and members of the tourism private sector, Mr. and Mrs. Nascimento.

Discussions highlighted the role tourism plays in the media; the role the local, international and social media and the GTA play in creating the best possible public image of Guyana; and the importance of the GTA and DoT in keeping the media informed about current and planned developments and initiatives in the tourism sector. Based on the roundtable discussions, there was general agreement that it is imperative to maintain a continuous open dialogue between the media and the DoT and GTA on an ongoing basis.

“There is a misperception that Guyana is a dangerous place to visit, but it is not compared to higher risk destinations that attract very high numbers of visitors compared to Guyana,” explained Brian T. Mullis, Director of the GTA. “The GTA needs to work more closely with the media in sharing information and good news about tourism and presenting a positive image to build the Guyana brand in a context that focuses on the positive growth of the country and highlights what visitors and residents love about the country.”

In similar vein the Director General of Tourism, Mr. Donald Sinclair, declared that while oil was an important discovery that occupies rightful space on our front pages, “tourism

also has its discoveries – a harpy eagle’s nest in Region 1; some unusually blue waters found in a lake in Region 10; a jaguar hotspot a few miles up the Canje River; thousands landing at our two international airports to be part of the first Guyana Carnival…”

The purpose of the interaction today was not to confront each other but to engage in a dialogue on how we as Guyanese can better control the narrative that is out there about

our country. With the expansion of the Cheddi Jagan International Airport, increased airlift to Guyana from international carriers such as American Airlines, and the GTA securing

market representation in its key source markets and increasing its focus on strengthening the tourism product offering, the tourism sector is well poised for growth and positive impact. The GTA’s role, working hand in hand with the local media, is to help inform the public of the growing changes and successes within the industry and instil an increased amount of pride in being a part of Guyana’s tourism future.

For more information, please visit www.guyana-tourism.com, contact Nicola Balram at nbalram@guyana-tourism.com, or call (592) 219-0093 or (592) 624-0410.

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About the Guyana Tourism Authority

The Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA) is a semi-autonomous governmental organisation responsible for developing and promoting sustainable tourism i n Guyana through collaboration with sister agencies and the tourism private sector in order to maximise local socio -economic and conservation outcomes and improve the visitors’ 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 maximizing local economic benefits. For more information, visit www.guyana -tourism.com or call (592) 219-0094.

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