Tourism Ministry rewards winners of its tourism village video competition

Twenty-two-year-old Shannon Holland of Yupukari, Region Nine has won first place in the Tourism, Industry and Commerce Ministry’s village video competition.

Prizes were awarded on Friday at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC).

Shannon Holland receives his cheque of $400,000 for first place

The young filmmaker says he is elated to finally win something and see his hard work pay off.

“I started filmmaking about four years ago and I was self-taught really, I was curious to know how films are made so I started slowly but surely. I borrowed my dad’s camera and stuff like that, just trial and error and learning from early people, other filmmakers,” he told the Department of Public Information (DPI).

He also plans to continue making videos that showcase Guyana.

“This whole idea with Guyana is trying to get it out there right and we are only now starting and there are still ways to go and I think that I want to continue promoting Guyana,” Holland noted.

Darrin Smith of Wakapoa Village Region Two, who won second place, is also happy he entered the competition.

“It was a last-minute entry but I really wanted to showcase Wakapoa, I didn’t even know about the competition, was someone told me about it and, somebody said I had to enter and I’m glad I did, I showcased Wakapoa to the world, to Guyana,” Smith said.

Eleven-year-old Hannah Andrews was also awarded a prize for her video which received a lot of traction.

“I’m very surprised because I just entered it for the experience and what an experience it was,” she said. 

“I intended to showcase just my benab it wasn’t just one subject, I was trying to cover the entire community in three minutes because it’s such an amazing place to go and enjoy yourself whether it’s a long vacation or just a short visit,” she added.

GTA Director Kamrul Baksh hands over a cheque to Youtuber, Hannah Andrews

Meanwhile, Tourism, Industry, and Commerce Minister, Oneidge Walrond noted that there is great tourism potential in all parts of Guyana and the entries showcased that.

She said the government has been making significant investments in developing tourism in all the administrative regions.

“It is important that we understand this competition and the tangible outcomes that can be derived, first the competition seeks to showcase the beauty and diversity of our country. It affirms our point that every region of our country has tourism potential,” the minister said.

Tourism Minister, Oneidge Walrond

The competition also opens new opportunities for the participants, especially the winners.

“The ministry has been advocating for greater partnerships with international agencies to utilise the services of local content creators for social media and other publications, many of the producers of these videos have demonstrated that this capacity is available locally to produce quality content and the ministry will continue to facilitate initiatives like these to enhance content creation, to be able to identify them as well, with the objective of facilitating lucrative opportunities for Guyanese while exposing our tourism product to a global audience,” Minister Walrond underscored. The competition aims to showcase Guyana from the lens of the locals and this has proven successful with more than 300,000 views from all around the world.

Minister Walrond poses with the winners of the 2022 Village Video Competition Winners

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