Tourism Ministry working to develop Essequibo’s tourism circuit

The Ministry of Tourism Industry and Commerce is working to establish a tourism circuit in Essequibo.

The ministry facilitated a media familiarisation tour of several tourist sites at the weekend.

Minister Walrond and team on a visit to the Marshall Falls.

Minister, Oneidge Walrond and Director (ag) of the Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA), Kamrul Baksh, were part of the tour.  

Minister Walrond said the excursion was a scoping mechanism to help the ministry find the gaps. It also provided an opportunity for media operatives to better sell Guyana’s tourism products.

The visitors at Kyk-Over-Al.

This is for us to see what is the next step for our development to be able to identify a place as pristine as this and what can be done, do we need more benabs, seating, toilet facilities? and this is what this is about, it’s a way to identify how to better our product, to make it more comfortable for visitors, so I’m satisfied that we have a valuable product that is worthwhile investing in,” Minister Walrond said.

She said Minister of Culture Youth Sport, Charles Ramson Jnr and the National Trust will assess all the forts for restoration.

Minister Walrond answers questions from the media at Kyk-Over-Al.

Because we realised that there is such keen interest in our history and just this fort, hearing the number of years it has been around since 1619, that we want to see what work needs to be done.  As we stepped out, we already saw the kind of restoration works that needs to be done and it’s something that we are going to be looking at very early in the new year.

The minister said work may vary at the various locations. They include de-bushing, along with extending and upgrading facilities in some lodges.

Tour guide Claude Benjamin takes Minister Walrond, Kamrul Baksh and others on a tour of Sloth Island.

Our support here at the Ministry of Tourism Industry and Commerce and the Guyana Tourism Authority is to come to look at the project, look at the idea and say, oh this is what we could do to make it better, so that’s what we are striving for to be bigger and better so, so there’s always going to be a gap because we are striving for better,” Minister Walrond noted.

She said there is much to experience in the Essequibo circuit of Regions Two, Three and Seven.

We are identifying different experiences within the region, so that’s what a circuit is about because when visitors come, they want to do different things, they want to and we want to offer them different things, they come to the Essequibo, they want sports fishing, they want to rest, maybe they want a wellness retreat,” minister Walrond noted.

Jamal Thomas, tour guide.

Meanwhile, tour guide and coordinator, Jamal Thomas said there is much to do in in the area. These include island hopping, visiting the falls and visiting resorts. All of these, he said, could be done in one day.  

“You’re having a lot more advertising, so you are having quite a lot of the locals coming out now, getting to see their country, getting a good feel of their country, so they can actually sell it because besides stuff being advertised, you do need feedback, you definitely do need feedbacks, and that is what is most important,” Thomas said.

The familiarisation tour took media operatives to the former Court of Policy, now the Dutch Heritage Museum and Fort Zeelandia, Kyk-Over-Al, Hurakabra River Resort, Sloth Island, Baracara Falls, Marshall Falls and Bartica.