Tourism sector fostering digital, economic transformation

─ as US$ 1M “Beyond Tourism” app launched

Guyana’s tourism sector is advancing digital transformation to foster economic growth through technology, while promoting safer eco-tourism travels amid the pandemic. 

On Wednesday, the Ministry of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, in collaboration with the Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA), launched the “Beyond Tourism” app, at the Cara Lodge Hotel, Georgetown.

Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, Oneidge Walrond at the launch of tourism app.

The US $1 million project, funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), aims to reverse the 42 per cent decline the tourism sector experienced due to the Covid -19 pandemic.

IDB’s country representative, Lorena Salazar emphasised the important role the digital platform plays as the tourism sector battles COVID-19.

“At the IDB, we embrace the digital transformation. It is an easy development priority and a key pillar of the bank’s vision 2025, to stimulate economic recovery and foster inclusive growth. So, this is relevant to how we can, in this sector, build trust.

Inter- American Development Bank (IDB), country representative, Lorena Solorzano, Salazar at the tourism app launch.

“Beyond Tourism” was created by V75, Guyana’s leading software company and is compatible with all mobile phones. The network comprises two mobile apps and an information system, which was developed over five months.

‘Discover Guyana Tourist’ app, commissioned by the GTA, was designed specifically for visiting tourists. The app will enable visitors to access updated travel requirement information, safeguards and standards, organise travel itinerary and health documents for screening. Persons will also be able to browse and easily communicate with certified tourism service providers.

The second app ‘Discover Guyana Provider’, gives GTA representatives access to create and manage establishment profiles on the discover Guyana directory. The establishment will be able to apply for COVID-19 certification each year. The app enables employers to manage tourist engagement information and access updated health information to keep both staff and visitors safe.

Additionally, a scannable QR code can be provided to guests to track all current and past visitors at their establishment.

Both apps work with duo online and offline modes, which makes it possible to utilise the apps with little or no internet connectivity.

Beyond Tourism App

Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, Oneidge Walrond extended congratulations to the team for realising the project, which, she said, will enable the safety of travellers visiting Guyana.

“I am particularly delighted to be here at the launch of this beyond tourism, safe lodges, safe guests, safe communities’ initiative. And I would like to congratulate the team effort of the Guyana Tourism Authority, the Inter-American Development Bank, DIA Global and of course, Wilderness Explorer, for your commitment to this project of safe travel, and safe communities and bringing this concept into fruition. This application does show agility and resilience. Initiatives like this represents the kind of assurance that our visitors will have when they come to Destination Guyana.”

The GTA recently facilitated a three-week, app training at the Atta Rainforest Lodge to provide detail information to persons in the North Rupununi, Region Nine. The visit to the region also enabled the master trainers from Wilderness Explorers Guyana, to better develop the app’s manual, which was screened by the Ministry of Health.

During the process, 14 lodges received an extensive training session to utilise the app effectively, as well as provide quality service to tourists. The trained personnel will receive a monthly salary for a year.