Drive-thru zoo being considered by Govt

…President Ali aims to create “one of a kind” experiences for visitors

President Dr Irfaan Ali has reassured tourism stakeholders that his Government will continue to work aggressively to improve the sector and create unique experiences that will attract people from all parts of the globe.

President Dr Irfaan Ali

The Head of State made this remark at the launch of the 23rd Edition of the “Explore Guyana” magazine on Thursday evening at the Cara Lodge Hotel, Georgetown.

President Ali and Head of THAG Harrinand Persaud unveiling this year’s edition of the Explore Guyana magazine

According to the President, he believes strongly in what Guyana has to offer. To this end, he committed to ensuring that Guyana focuses on improving its competitiveness in the tourism industry and creating a cutting-edge product that would attract visitors to the country.
Citing Singapore’s night zoo, Ali revealed that consideration is being given for the establishment of a safari/drive-thru zoo experience in Guyana that would be located somewhere close to the bulk of the population.
“So, we’re thinking of how we can create, in its natural environment, a one of a kind zoo – a drive-through zoo that people from all across the Caribbean, South America can say this is a one of a kind, unique experience we want to be part of and that is something that we are looking at, to see how it can be created,” he noted.
Against this backdrop, Government is trying to get some experts to come look into this initiative.
In the meantime, President Ali said there is a very elaborate enhancement plan for the existing zoo and Botanical Gardens in Georgetown that will get underway soon.
In addition, he mentioned that consideration is being given to special incentives for double-cap open back pick-up vehicles to support the tourism sector especially in transporting persons to the Rupununi region so that they can truly experience driving through the rainforests.
President Ali noted that the Government will make the necessary investments to, among other things, find ways in which there can be a meaningful reduction to the costs for movement to and from the hinterland and riverine communities.
As such, he noted that while his Administration is investing heavily in the country’s infrastructural development, there is also a need for a partnership approach to propel the sector forward.
The Head of State further outlined that tourism and agriculture will be the country’s strongest and most sustainable sectors in the future.
“We have to invest in these sectors not only physically but on the human resource capacity and ensure that we build the competitiveness of the sector,” he stated.
President Ali lauded the reach of the magazine and the enhanced digital version. He also spoke of the need to improve the ICT sector in Guyana, which will revolutionise the country’s competitiveness and its ability to be an effective player in the global market.
While the tourism sector is recovering from a difficult two years caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the President said that there is reason to celebrate as the multi-stakeholder approach has been effective in not only resolving this shock but also ensuring that the entire shock was not passed over to the industry.
“I think we have done exceedingly well [in] creating that balance… When I say we, it’s the Government partnering with the Private Sector and civil society in creating that balance,” the President asserted.
Meanwhile, President Ali highlighted that they will be using the upcoming oil and gas conference next week to promote Guyana’s products and local arts and crafts. The Guyana Energy Conference and Expo 2022 set to take place from February 15 to 18.
“So the Energy Conference is not only about oil and gas, for a matter of fact to me oil and gas is the sweetener… This is our time in the sector to put the country, our services and everything on the show for all those who are coming,” he noted.
To this end, the President said that the Government and Private Sector have concocted an innovative idea of making the Umana Yana a duty-free zone. He said that the Government has invited local suppliers, producers, including makers of jewellery and rum and persons who create art and craft, to generate a shopping experience for all the foreign delegates and visitors coming to the conference.
This, he said, will bring the market potential to them in a creative way that will showcase Guyana’s capabilities.
The President also noted that in building the country’s emphasis on food security, the Government is looking to launch “The President’s Children’s Orchard” with different types of trees and cabins where children will not only enjoy but also learn about the importance of food and sustainability.
The aim, according to the President, is to create a new culture and drive for our future leaders.
Meanwhile, at Thursday’s magazine launch, President of the Tourism and Hospital Association of Guyana (THAG), Harrinand Persaud outlined the new and exciting features of the 2022 edition of Explore Guyana.
This includes links to the Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA), advertisers, THAG members, tour operators, virtual tours of local resorts, and other video access on its website.
Additionally, special QR readers for hotels and resorts that can be accessed via a code on the cover page. The magazine also features articles from a variety of explorers including the United States Ambassador and British High Commissioner to Guyana.
The cover photo of this year’s Explore Guyana magazine was captured with the newest GoPro camera and was taken by a team of foreign explorers which included Dylan Efron – the brother of famous American Actor Zac Efron. (G8)