Tourism Authority urges innovation, collaboration to recover from pandemic slump
“Preparing for a New Frontier – Stimulating Innovation within the Tourism Sector” is this year’s theme for Tourism Awareness Month 2021.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, tourism sectors all across the world took a beating and in Guyana it was not different. In fact, Guyana’s tourism sector lost about $33.6 billion in 2020, owing to the restrictions put in place to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.
But now with an ease in travel, reduced curfew hours and vaccination numbers growing daily, there is hope that the once thriving sector can be revived.
“The tourism sector was decimated but stakeholders have been resilient and have been supported by the government…we have witnessed innovation and change but we need to collaborate now more than ever,” Kamrul Baksh, acting Director of the Guyana Tourism Authority said on Monday.
He was speaking during the official launch of Tourism Awareness Month 2021 at the Bimichi-Eco Lodge at St. Cuthbuert’s Mission, a small Amerdian Village located a few miles up the Linden Soesdyke Highway.
“We can capitalise and accelerate tourism development in Guyana, if we work together.”
This year’s initiatives, Baksh said, is focused on stimulating tourism for the new post-pandemic era.
These include a new Tourism App to track tourist movement in Guyana and the launching of seven new tourism products – all indigenous centered.
But not only this, Tourism Awareness Month 2021 gives all and sundry equal opportunity to experience the beauty and pristine nature of Guyana.
Tourism Minister Oneidge Waldron, who delivered the feature address, lauded the hosting of the activity at the Bimichi-Eco Lodge; she said that it is part and parcel of the government’s efforts to grow the country’s domestic tourism market.
“In this regard, St. Cuthbert’s is ideally located for those in Georgetown and its environs who desire a quick overnight or weekend retreat into serenity,” Minister Waldron stated.
“The possibilities here are truly immense and we are gratified to see initiatives such as these take root and grow.”
The Tourism Minister was keen to note that the theme for this year’s celebration is apt as it forces tourism centered businesses to come up with innovate strategies to suit the post-COVID world.2
“We cannot advance with archaic strategies and approaches.
“So as policy makers and stakeholders, we must now refine out tourism offerings to cater for what will be the new norms and expectations of the post-COVID 21st century,” Minister Oneigde added.
With a packed programme, Guyanese can look forward to a whole host of activities ranging from the the Guyana Tourism Awards, the highly anticipated Guyana Restaurant Week and a fun 4×4 road adventure drive.
The launching of the month’s festivities also saw the relaunching of the Bimichi-Eco Lodge by the Tourism Minister and owner Amanda Mahadeo.