Tourism in Essequibo to be enhanced with launch of development playbook

Tourism development in the Essequibo circuit is in focus as the Tourism and Hospitality Association of Guyana (THAG), Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA) and international partners collaborate to develop a Tourism Development Playbook that will aid the development of new tourism products in the Essequibo.

The stakeholders on Tuesday gathered at the Herdmanston Lodge, Georgetown for the launch of the playbook that was conceptualised since 2019, in recognition of the immense tourism potential of the Lower Essequibo River and Coast.

Kamrul Baksh, President Guyana Tourism Authority

“Recognising the untapped potential of this area the cluster development plan outlined the need for sustainable and enticing tourism products that could beckon travellers to the Essequibo and to enjoy the fullness of all that it has to offer, from this emerged Discover Essequibo, a testament to the power of partnerships,”Omadele George, President THAG noted.

Omadele George, President, Tourism and Hospitality Association of Guyana

She noted that through training and shared expertise, Guyana is in the position to create a niche tourism product that exemplifies service and excellence.

Mark Berman, Canadian High Commissioner

“We aim to enrich the very essence of the Essequibo, crafting an irresistible destination that will command global attention and solidify the regions position on the international tourism stage,”George noted.

Jane Miller, British High Commissioner

Director of GTA, Kamrul Baksh noted that the playbook is a simplified guide to help tour operators develop new products.

A section of the gathering at the launch of the playbook

This, along with mentorship and guidance from the GTA is expected to help operators develop high quality experiences.

“It allows existing operators and products that are in the industry to review its existing structure with the aim of improving standards in the industry because we need to look at the quality of experience and product experiences that we deliver here in the country and this product development playbook and guide is geared towards doing just that,” Baksh stated.

Tourism Development Playbook cover revealed

The Project was supported by Compete Caribbean Partnership Facility, which is funded by donors like the Inter-American Development Bank, United Kingdom Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office, Caribbean Development Bank and Government of Canada.

The focus is reigniting economic growth in the Caribbean by increasing productivity, fostering innovation and position regional products and services competitively in the regional market.

Copies of the Tourism Development Playbook

Several of these development partners were present to make remarks.

Mark Berman, Canadian High Commissioner to Guyana noted that, “Canada works diligently to ensure that our programming places women and girls in particular at the forefront of our development initiatives while simultaneously striving to target the poorest and most vulnerable population…We understand that tourism has the potential to be a key economic driver within the Guyanese economy and one which demonstrates the value of collaboration and cooperation between government and the private sector.”

British High Commissioner to Guyana, Jane Miller also noted that tourism is one of the ways in which the economy can be diversified but the benefit stays at the community level.

“We know that Guyana’s Economy is growing incredibly fast but we also know that Guyana has to diversify its economy and we know that tourism is one massive opportunity that Guyana has so I think that’s it’s really exciting that this particular piece of work has been chosen, but also tourism has an opportunity to work with the most vulnerable communities and particularly women, and that’s what for me makes this so exciting,”the high commissioner posited.