– 17 new experiential tourism products launched during 2022
The Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA) has announced a 96.9 per cent increase in visitor arrival in the country as of July 2022 when compared to the same period last year, pointing to a successful recovery post-COVID.
In keeping with the Government of Guyana’s progressive approach to managing the COVID-19 pandemic, the country has since been fully reopened while maintaining all the necessary public health measures to ensure absolute safety. In its yearend report, the entity shared that this return to normalcy has had a significantly positive impact on the tourism sector.
As of July 2022, the total visitor arrival figure stood at 156,428. This reflects a 96.98 percent increase compared to the same period in 2021. The projected visitor arrivals figure for the entire 2022 is 291,241 compared to 2021’s 158,347. This is above the global recovery rate of 65 percent, the GTA added.
This year also saw increased tourism businesses becoming officially licensed. As of December 21, the GTA officially licensed 20 tourism accommodation establishments – hotels, interior lodges and resorts, 18 tourist guides and 21 tour operators. These businesses benefitted from extensive support provided by the GTA, including inspections and training in priority areas such as First Aid and CPR, which is critical to becoming licensed.
“The GTA continued to strengthen resilience and improve the product offering of the industry by executing training sessions in Delivering Quality Service, Financial Management, First Aid and CPR, and Culinary Arts. Most notably, the GTA introduced two new training opportunities – Mixology/Bartender training and Wilderness First Responder training. A total of 2089 persons have been trained for 2022 in these areas surpassing the team’s initial target of 2000,” said the agency.
In 2022, the GTA successfully developed 17 new experiential tourism products, when compared to seven products launched in 2021. These are the Kopinang Waterfall Tour, Yoga, Breakfast and Nature Walk Tour, Bush Cow Eco Trails Experience, Paruima Village, Quarrie Waterfall Tour, One Cent Black on Magenta Tour, Mangrove Heritage Tour, New Amsterdam Heritage Tour, Mahdia Tour, Capoey Day Tour, Leguan Tour, Yarrowkabra Tour, Essequibo Tri-Island Tour, Tapakuma Camping & Fishing Expedition, Rainforest Escape Tour, Farm to Table Experience with Gobin’s Farm, and GT Bar Crawl.
In 2022, the Authority in collaboration with stakeholders, donated a boat to Warapoka Village, Region One. This is one of the priority capital projects under the Tourism, Industry and Commerce Ministry for 2022 to significantly reduce travel costs to Warapoka and improve the comfort level of travelers going into the village. The implementation of this boat will also contribute to an additional stream of revenue being injected into the village through boat transfers. Warapoka was officially launched as a tourism community in 2021.
The Training of Trainers programme in South Rupununi was also facilitated in collaboration with Swisscontact under the framework of the ‘Consultancy to Develop a Sustainable Tourism Circuit in the South Rupununi area of Guyana’ commissioned by Compete Caribbean in partnership with GTA and Visit Rupununi.
Speaking on its innovation and technological advancements, the statement, “The GTA has continuously proven that innovative enhancements will propel the tourism sector to new heights. Using technology to our advantage has always been a necessary marker for development, especially now that we are in a significantly technologically advanced era. As such, the Authority launched the first of its kind – the Tourism Business Licensing Portal. The launch of this portal will make the registration process as easy as possible for existing as well as new tourism-focused businesses, especially those that are located in outlying areas.”
The Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA) is a semi-autonomous governmental organisation responsible for developing and promoting sustainable tourism in Guyana through collaboration with sister agencies and the tourism private sector in order to maximise local socio-economic and conservation outcomes and improve the travellers’ experience.
The GTA is focused on Guyana becoming recognised locally and internationally as a premier destination for protecting its natural and cultural heritage, providing authentic experiences, and maximising local socio-economic benefits.