Lack of exposure troubled Guyana’s tourism possibilities – GTA Director

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Guyana has made waves as a world-renowned tourism destination and now the government is pushing ‘Destination Guyana’, marketing the country as the ‘home of nature, land of opportunities’.

The plan has been in the pipeline for years. So, what has held the country back from truly realising its tourism potential? Director (ag) of the Guyana Tourism Authority, Kamrul Baksh believes a lack of exposure to the world played a major role.

“It is largely that…we were missing exposure but now our product is in demand,” Baksh reasoned in a candid interview with the News Room on Thursday.

Baskh, who served the GTA for several years, recalled that Guyana had to compete with countries like Costa Rica where tourists can enjoy lovely tropical beaches; historical sites in the United States and pristine view of the Sahara desert in Dubai.

Director (ag) of the Guyana Tourism Authority, Kamrul Baksh (Photo: News Room/ November 1, 2021)

But what those countries have are large budgets to aptly market its tourism product, he emphasised.

“When people think about tourism, they think about these crowded beaches, you know, they think about mass and we are niche…a large portion of our product is in the niche market…birding  is niche; sports, fishing, nature, wildlife, those are niche products and that is what Guyana offers and more.”

For Guyana to stand out from the rest, Baksh believes much more work needs to be done to boost Guyana’s exposure so that the country can become the go-to tourist destination.

And the tools that Guyana needs to do so, according to Baskh, are already in its backyard as the country boasts of being the best ecotourism destination in the world. This coupled with its rich abundant natural resources has brought renewed investment interests.

“We need to get further into the marketplace more and the Dubai Expo 2020 was an excellent start.

“We will continue to attend major international trade shows and ensure that we are on platforms that will improve our promotion of this destination,” he shared.

Interest in Guyana’s tourism prospects shined through at the Dubai Expo 2020, which Baksh said was an opportune platform to showcase exactly what the country has to offer the world.

The country was branded the best eco-tourism destination in the world for its global leadership in offering responsible tourism opportunities back in 2019 by the largest global trade fair called ITB (Internationale Tourismus-Börse) in Berlin.

Then, Guyana bested other well-known eco-tourism destinations like Sierra Gorda in Mexico, Tmatboey in Cambodia, and the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador with its unique tourism offering.

And with enough work, the GTA Director strongly believes that Guyana is well on its way to being branded South America’s best kept secret.

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