Guyana looks to attract more Canadian visitors
The Guyana-Canadian Tourism Council is urging the Guyana Police Force to do more to reduce crime as the team works to promote Guyana as a tourist destination.
A team including journalists from Canada visited Guyana at the weekend to embark on a familiarization tour. The aim of the initiative, through the Guyana Tourism Authority, is to encourage tour operators to sell destination Guyana to Canadians.
Former Executive Member of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation and Owner of Roraima Travel Services Ltd., Syed Rayman said one of the obstacles to efficiently market Guyana is the prevalence of crime.
As such, he called on the Government to do more to reduce crime as his team works to change the perspective by constantly churning out good news about opportunities here.
“We hope to be able in getting our news out about Guyana is to let the public at large know that it is still relatively safe—as we may see it, and we hope that Government here through the police department can maybe improve because the statistics are still there, and crime is still there, but crime is everywhere,” he told reporters. He added that it is their hope to “allay those fears with the Diaspora.”
According to Deputy Director of the GTA, Carla James-Chandra, visitor arrivals for 2017 is up by 5.66 percent. She said however, it was noticed that the Canadian market has not been growing as fast as others.
She noted that Canadian residents account for 9.7% of visitor arrivals from January to September this year- a total of 17, 489 passengers compared to 24,019 last year, adding that that market has not been growing as fast as expected.
The visiting Canadian team include Tourism and Sports journalist, Tony McWatt and one of Canada’s Culinary Ambassadors, Nathan Fong.
In 2018, the team hopes to work on promoting the various sporting and entertainment events which will be hosted in Guyana.