DOMESTIC and international tourists now have a range of options after the Ministry of Tourism Industry and Commerce, and the Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA) launched seven new experiential tours to operate in various parts of Guyana.
GTA’s acting Director, Kamrul Baksh, said the tours are in keeping with the brand pillars of nature and wildlife, culture and heritage, birding, active exploration and conservation.
“Experiential, is our unique value proposition that we have here…. The facets of experiential tourism are authenticity and that’s what you have clearly seen in all of these videos, you have also seen that it’s educational, you’ve seen that it’s participative, and those pillars are what we build pillars around.”
Baksh noted that the seven new products bring those pillars to life.
“That’s what differentiates our product from the competitors globally,” he continued.
He said while tourism products attract visitors, that is only part of the puzzle. What is also needed is ensuring that the experiences before and after, are well thought out.
“We want to bring more products to market and what I’m proud of, last year, we had three products. You heard it, this year, we’re launching seven, but what is even more remarkable, is the timeline in which the products have been developed,” Baksh said.
He noted that while indigenous communities take longer to develop their tourism products, this is changing. Moraikobai and Warapoka took about five years to develop their product while Santa Aratak and St Cuthbert’s Mission took a little over a year.
“Guyana Tourism Authority has led and will continue to lead on two core systems. One is the community owned and led tourism framework, which we have been championing for a number of years, which is why today, you see three indigenous communities being market-ready and also the other system which is experiential framework in which we take ideas along with the private sector. We conceptualise ideas.”
The GTA also supports the necessary training in several areas like tour guide, culinary, and service delivery and all that is needed to ensure the products are ready.
“We’re not finished there as yet; we want to ensure that we market these products — one for the domestic market which we are pushing very aggressively and also to the diaspora,” Baksh noted.
Meanwhile, GTA Product Development Manager, Candace Phillips, noted that while the team only comprises three persons, much work has been done to ensure that the products get to this stage. The new tourism products are the Warapoka, Santa Aratak, St. Cuthbert’s Mission, Bimichi, Taste of Freedom, Fort Nassau and Canje Sunset Tours.