DEVELOPING THE TOURISM SECTOR THROUGH STANDARDS
Guyana has great potential as an eco-tourism destination. With its un-spoilt beauty, Guyana is a real tropical paradise of animals and plants that thrive in these natural areas.
Guyana offers a distinct tourism product that tourists can enjoy with vast open spaces, savannahs, virgin rainforests, mountains, huge rivers and waterfalls. Guyana boasts abundant wildlife, numerous species of flora, a variety of fauna and spectacular birdlife.
Tourism provides a great opportunity for Guyana’s economic development. Guyana is unique in its multifaceted tourism product, which has the potential to foster economic growth by tapping into large portion of the tourism market. Tourism will create new job opportunities, increase foreign currency revenue and promote interior development.
Over the years, initiatives are being taken to enhance the quality of the tourism product through the establishment of facilities to monitor standards, the extension of tourism development into new areas to create a more diversified product, the strengthening linkages between tourism and other sectors of the economy, and the development of culture and sports tourism in the view of the country’s rich and diversified cultural heritage.
With this expansive development taking place in the tourism industry, it is critical for standards and conformity assessment to be the supporting pillars of the industry. These should be weaved in the development process and be given topmost priority.
The Guyana National Bureau of Standards (GNBS) through the establishment of a Technical Committee on Tourism has been developing standards to govern the industry.
Standards provide a means of developing the sector by setting a bench mark for monitoring the quality of the products and services offered to tourists, establishing a basis for the training of the workforce in the tourism sector, and increasing productivity.
Standards already developed and approved as National Standards are the:
* Code of Practice for the Accommodation Sector,
* Code of Practice for quality management in the restaurant service and the
* Code of Practice for Tour Operators and Tour Guides.
The GNBS is also working to complete standards for Tourism Inspections, Assessment of Interior Lodges, Transportation sector and water sports operators.
It is clear that the tourism industry is on the right track but we must integrate and intensify our efforts with the other Public and Private Sector Agencies, maintain the momentum and pay equal attention to standards.
For further information please contact the GNBS on telephone numbers: 219-0064, 219-0065, 219-0066.