WITH hopes of boosting tourism in the hinterland community of Rockstone, Region 10, the Village Council will host its first ever fishing extravaganza in October.
The community is known for hosting an inaugural fish festival yearly, however, due to the restriction cause by the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the effects of torrential rainfall and flooding, the committee was unable to host the event over the last few years.
“The village is going ahead with a fishing extravaganza on its own, and since there is no fish festival on the calendar that has been written for, it will encompass some of those activities and the likes,” the village’s Toshao Flagan Carter told the Guyana Chronicle on Thursday.
The event, he said, will feature a few similar activities from the inaugural event that is usually held, however, it will be bigger and grander, as residents are eagerly awaiting to have an activity of such a kind hosted again.
“I think the population is looking forward for a day of fun; we will also have some time to enjoy the outside atmosphere, enjoying the outdoors and, of course, lots to eat and drink.”
There will be many prizes to be won, said Carter, who noted that “emphasis will be placed on the largest catch; there is going to be an adult, a senior and junior category.”
He also noted that all safety protocols will be in place to cater for the day’s activity.
“Of course, we want to make sure that we have all the necessary safety protocols involved, because it’s a riverside activity.”
PUSH FOR ECO LODGE
While the community is hoping to get some traction with the event, the Village Council, in collaboration with the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) through the regional tourism committee, is hoping to push for more tourism development.
Head of the regional committee, Devin Sears, in a recent interview said discussions are being held with investors and other key stakeholders to secure funding for the promotion of community tourism in Region 10.
“What we are pushing for is to promote community tourism in all the communities. We have to start somewhere, and Rockstone is easy to tackle, because a lot of tourists would go there for bird watching,” Sears said.
While tourism is nothing new to the community, he believes that with greater emphasis, much more can be earned from the sector.
“With Rockstone given its strategic location, we have over a thousand species of birds, and that would be the right place. Even if you’re passing by Rockstone, heading to Sherima Crossing to go over to Bartica, you can always crash there for the night.”
He explained that the establishment of an eco-lodge in the community makes room for further development.
“With the eco-lodge, we are thinking that it would provide employment for those people up there. The eco-lodge would be good for there, the plan is to have 12 rooms. The Village Council has reached out for support, but it’s slow, and it takes a little while,” Sears said.
Meanwhile, Carter disclosed that the village has been making strides in trying to establish its own eco-lodge.
“The Village Council would have reached out to several agencies; we would have engaged Go-Invest, the Tourism Minister, the Ministry of Amerindians Affairs in regards of having eco-tourism established in the community to target visitors that are coming in, and to provide jobs for the members of the community, especially the women to ensure that we have a sustainable system where we can finance the village and commerce and directly wholesale logging, because that is our primary way of income” Carter said.
Rockstone has a variety of scenery, geological gems and access to waters ways and many wild life to be one of the country’s ideal eco-tourist destinations.