-THAG President reiterates call for ban on wildlife trade
GUYANA’S tourism sector grew by eight per cent from January to September 2019, and according to Director of the Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA), Brian Mullis, “it is only going to get better”.
The tourism sector raked in some $62.2 billion and provided 22,000 jobs in 2018, Mullis said at the launch of the Explore Guyana 2020 Magazine at the Movietowne Mall, on Friday evening.
Moving off of what was called an excellent year in 2018, the tourism industry continued to thrive in 2019, attracting major travel media, trade industry insiders and so forth.
While some may believe that the increased attention was solely because of oil and gas, Mullis contended that it was because of the sustainable agenda which was adopted by Guyana.
As a result of the sustainable initiatives, Guyana received many praises and was even recognised as the best in ecotourism. The country also copped first place for the “welcome back to nature” video; was ranked best in destination stewardship; and was recognised as the leading sustainable adventure travel destination.
“Despite these achievements, we cannot settle for complacency and say we cannot improve. Instead, we must maintain a focus on collaboration,” said Mullis. He added that the GTA’s mission is to scale up the positive social, economic and conservation outcomes which tourism generates.
And as the country maintains its focus on sustainability, President of the Tourism and Hospitality Association (THAG), Mitra Ramkumar, believes there needs to be a ban on the trading of wildlife and the commercial use of wild meat.
“We cannot call ourselves the number one eco-tourism destination and involve ourselves in unsustainable practices and immorality… as such we are appealing for the ban…we appealed for it at last year’s launch of the Explore Guyana Magazine,” said Ramkumar.
The magazine is testimony to the sustainable practices in Guyana and even shows off the rich biodiversity of the country.
Ramkumar said the magazine features the country’s rich flora and fauna, and can even be used as a tourist guide, since it has month by month features on the major events and festivals in Guyana.