After competing for the top honour for 19 years, Guyana has been named the number one Eco-Tourism destination in the world, receiving the award on March 7, 2019, at the ITB global travel trade fair in Berlin, Germany.
The Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA) held its reception Monday night at the Cara Lodge Hotel, Quamina Street, Georgetown, where dignitaries of Government including the Minister of Business Dominic Gaskin, Minister of Indigenous People’s Affairs Sydney Allicock and other key members of the tourism industry were in attendance.
Andrea DeCaires, Executive member of the GTA, told News Room that Guyana is now recognized as a tourism destination on the international stage and it is time to catch up with the rest of the world.
“It means that this best-kept secret we have kept all to ourselves now everybody knows about. It is wonderful, but, we [Guyanese] have to up our game, we have to ensure our level of service is the same as number one in the world, we have to work on our product development because they [Tourists] are coming,” DeCaires said.
Speaking to the gathering, Director of GTA Brian Mullis said that Guyana was named above some of the top destinations including Sierra Gorda, Mexico which has won the award more than a handful of times.
“We were recognized for our holistic approach to destination management and development from our exemplary, now world-renowned community-led tourism enterprises…things like our national policy for perusing a green state development strategy.
“We’ll have to continue to remarkably advance our efforts to remain one of the best of the best. We recognize we have a lot of room for improvement in areas like renewable energy efficiency in our lodging sector and around the country particularly in our municipal areas.”
Meanwhile, Minister Gaskin congratulated the GTA for the work they have been doing over the years and encouraged all stakeholders to continue on that path.
Vice President and Minister of Indigenous People’s Affairs Sydney Allicock during his remarks said this is the time for Guyana to celebrate being a first in the tourism industry.
“I’d like to thank those tour operators who saw the importance and potential and not only talking about the potential but getting into action…and today with their advice, with the relationship we’re able to move the hospitality business in the right direction.”
He called on citizens to protect and preserve Guyana’s wildlife so that it can be shared with the world when tourists begin to arrive.
Guyana also won the accolade “The Golden City Gate” with the first star in the “Destinations” category. This was one of seven destination videos released last April showcasing Guyana’s amazing product. (Colwyn Abrams)