Essequibo River wil to be a massive hub for tourism – Ali

…says security architecture of Region 3 to change rapidly

A tourism masterplan for the Essequibo River, which features several tourism stops that have attracted domestic and international interest, is being completed. This is according to President Dr Irfaan Ali, who expressed confidence that the Essequibo River will be a massive tourism hub.

President Dr Irfaan Ali

During a recent event in Region Three (Essequibo Islands- West Demerara) – a region the President said will be a gateway to this tourism hub – President Ali also revealed the plethora of investment proposals the government has received for the region.
“The minister of tourism would tell you. That right now, she is completing the Essequibo River masterplan. Because the Essequibo River is going to be a massive hub for tourism. And Region Three will be the gateway.”

Tourism Minister Oniedge Walrond and team during a previous visit to the Marshall Falls in the Mazaruni River

“Over the last five or six months, we’ve received investment proposals for this region. For hotels, apartment buildings, restaurants, universities, colleges. This is only the last three to five months. So even at this pace that we are going, we will have to accelerate to meet the demands that is coming in this region,” President Ali said.
Accompanying this growth in tourism, according to Ali, will be a revamp of the country’s security architecture. The President made it clear that the safe country project- an expansion of the safe city initiative- is still on the cards.
“As a result of what is taking place, the security architecture of this region is going to have to change rapidly. That is why we are moving from safe city to safe country. And this region will see massive investment in technology aided security systems that will help law enforcement officers in their work.”
“A lot of focus will be placed on community and intelligence led security systems, supported by the most tested of technology. So that in the path of development, we can build a safe and secure society and community,” the Head of State also said.
Only last month, the Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA) had licensed nine tourism accommodation establishments, 16 tour operators, and five tour guides. The nine tourism accommodation establishments were Cara Lodge Hotel; Rock View Lodge; Baganara Island Resort; Rewa Eco Lodge; Pegasus Hotel Guyana; Ramada Georgetown Princess Hotel; Atta Lodge; Iwokrama River Lodge and Grand Coastal Inn.
Tour operators
Meanwhile, tour operators included Evergreen Adventures Inc, The Wild Tales, Epic Tours, Exciting Tours Through the Guianas, Blackwater Adventures, Wanderlust Adventures, Wilderness Explorers, Old Fort Tours, Touring Guyana, Ride Along GY, Singing Chef Adventures, Leon Moore Nature Experience, Toma1 Guyana, Trail Masters Adventure Tours, Adventure Guianas, and Elite Kayaking & Nature Tours.
Additionally, tour guides Shebana Daniels, Carlton Peters, Delon Williams, Tichie Roberts, and John Elliot also received their licences. The GTA also executed inspection activities in Regions Three, Four, and 10 on 35 tourism establishments including interior lodges and resorts. Once these businesses have passed the inspection process, they will be one step closer to becoming officially licenced with the GTA.
As the project continues, the next steps for the team will include follow-up field assessments, developing new products and training sessions, and enhancing the governance structure to lead the functioning of the tourism cluster.
In addition to that, as part of the Tourism and Hospitality Training initiative by the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs’ Youth Entrepreneurship and Apprenticeship Programme, 62 Community Service Officers (CSOs) from regions all across Guyana attended a one-week Introduction to Tourism training.
Just recently, Guyana signed an agreement with Costa Rica to further partnerships between the two countries in tourism, explore investment opportunities and exchange knowledge and technical support, continuing a trend of Guyana building its tourism product through collaboration.
The signing came almost one month after Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce Oneidge Walrond visited St Lucia for a two-day official visit, during which greater bilateral partnerships between the two countries and even a potential twinning of their tourism products was discussed. (G3)