Tourism stakeholder consultation held to discuss safety

The Ministry of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, in collaboration with the Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA) on Tuesday, hosted a tourism stakeholder consultation at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre, Liliendaal.

The consultation was held in light of recent events surrounding non-compliance with safety procedures established by the Maritime Administration Department (MARAD), which is the body governing the rules and regulations of Guyana’s water travel operators.

Tourism, Industry and Commerce Minister, Oneidge Walrond

The consultation aimed to solicit feedback from tourism stakeholders about existing safety measures in the tourism industry.

Director of the GTA, Kamrul Baksh explained that the workshop is important in tackling risk management and safety.

Director of GTA, Kamrul Baksh

“I know that risk is inherent in the activities within the tourism industry. And whilst we acknowledge that there are risks, and that risk is natural, we need to ensure that the appropriate and adequate systems and procedures are in place to mitigate and to address those risks,” he said.

Meanwhile, Tourism, Industry and Commerce Minister, Oneidge Walrond, touched on the importance of tourism to Guyana’s economy and the development of the country.

However, she pointed out that tourism cannot be beneficial to the country if it is not conducted safely.

Stakeholders who attended the consultation on Tuesday

“No tourist will come when a person or tourist feels like their security or safety is threatened. It threatens the destination itself. They would not want to come to experience Destination Guyana if there are instances, or a perception of it being unsafe,” she expressed.

Presentations were given by Maritime Administration Department (MARAD) River Navigation Officer, Captain Romain Seurattan, Director General of the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), Egbert Field, as well as Nalico/Nafico and Demerara Mutual representatives.

Stakeholders who attended the consultation on Tuesday

Stakeholders who attended the consultation and operate within Guyana’s tourism industry offered suggestions and made inquiries about safety measures in the various subsectors.

These included monitoring of remote tourism operators, training and educational workshops for water taxi operators, and stricter penalties for persons in violation of the law, among others.