By Dana Niland
The Guyana Tourism Authority says it has been laying the groundwork to support a push to promote community tourism in Guyana.
The agency’s director, Brian Mullis, highlighted several primary objectives, including raising the profile of the organization, undertaking a needs assessment and conducting training sessions in the regions, as well as drafting a community-led tourism framework.
“The leading authorities in tourism say that nature and travel tourism represent 20 to 25 percent of the world tourism market, and that is our market,” Mullis said.
He said that the GTA has been working closely with indigenous communities to restructure and develop plans to further promote tourism in communities across the regions.
An initiative between Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs and the Ministry of Business has seen several hinterland communities benefiting from major supports in an effort to develop eco-tourism.
This is part of what the government says is a plan to promote economic growth and community development through the creation of nature-based and community-based eco-tourism businesses in indigenous communities.
The government also said it had allocated funding this year to build eco-tourism lodges, benabs, nature trails, and to provide training of tour guides, customer service, and hospitality in several areas across the country.
That’s a natural progression, given that the vast majority of leisure visitors to the country are doing so for its vast eco-tourism offerings, most notably lodges like the Surama Eco Lodge and the country’s famous Kaietur Falls.