THE digital age has never been more advanced than ever over the last decade or so. I might not be an expert on social media and marketing. Nonetheless, I am a young Guyanese who frequently uses the Internet. I have seen firsthand how social media has transformed our tourism industry. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we were all forced to switch to digital platforms. I think that was a blessing in disguise. At the time, we probably didn’t know this, but I’m glad that many of us used the technology at hand. I’ve seen how social media tourism pages in Guyana made use of this opportunity. Apart from this, many young influencers, travel enthusiasts, and adventurers used social media and other digital platforms to promote and encourage tourism in Guyana. In essence, social media allowed us to share aspects of our life, culture, geographical landscapes, landmarks, and other key areas of interest within our country.
Social media allowed us to create an open catalogue and platform for the rest of the world to view who we are, where we live, and how we live. The world is finally getting to know our name on multiple media platforms, mainly because of the Internet. By now, I’m sure many of you are aware of the various tourism websites, social media, pages, and blogs/blogs that are available with Guyanese tourism content. The idea for this article came about after viewing an Instagram reel video with a foreigner who recently visited our country. The video was short but it captured the beauty and essence of our country perfectly within 10 seconds. That 10-second video encouraged so many people in the comments from various countries worldwide to visit Guyana––a country many probably didn’t even know of prior to watching the video. It blew my mind. The video had approximately 100,000 views alone. This is just one of many other examples I’ve encountered on my personal social media. While these platforms are available, it should be noted that the quality of content is just as important as the platform itself. While the world is advancing with technology, there’s still so much for us, to learn here in Guyana.
My youth column has always been a platform that opens discussions and dialogue for the perspectives of young people in our country. I am confident that this perspective is also one that is held by many other young Guyanese. Simple things such as hotel reviews, a video experience at a local restaurant, or a social media guide/list of the most visited places in Guyana can boost our tourism industry in unimaginable ways. Social media as we know it, allows us to create content and share it with the rest of the world to see. How many of us have looked at reels or pictures and dreamed of seeing that exact location in real life? Do you know how many people will add Kaieteur falls, the Iwokrama Canopy Walkway, or the St. George’s Cathedral to their wishlist if only we give them a glimpse of their beauty and history? Digitally, I’d like to encourage you all to help extend our country’s reach on the global map. A like, share, or comment can go a long way for our local creators as well. We have all that we need at our disposal, it’s just a matter of utilising it effectively.