By Shikema Dey
From the picturesque Rupununi sunsets at the Wichabi Ranch to the breathtaking view atop the Roraima Mountains and the excitement of fishing in the cool Pomeroon River, Guyana’s little hidden gems were the focal points in the 23rd edition of the ‘Explore Guyana’ Magazine, the South American Nation’s official tourist guide.
The magazine was not published in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic constraints, but was launched on Thursday at Cara Lodge with a new look and exciting adventures for the outside world looking to visit the hidden paradise that is Guyana.
This year’s cover features the beautiful Uchi Falls – a hidden gem with a single drop of 702 ft. located in the Paruima Village District, Region Seven.
The shot was captured by Brennen Schuelke, who was part of the team of US explorers, including Dylan Efron (brother of movie star Zack Efron) using Go-Pro technology.
The team described Guyana as “one of the most unspoiled and primitive countries” ever experienced and that statement was supported by President Irfaan Ali, who delivered the feature address at the launch.
The Head-of-State, a lover of tourism, said the sector is pivotal to Guyana’s future and stressed on the need to invest in it.
“…not only physically, but also the human resource capacity and ensuring that you build the competitiveness of the sector,” he added.
The President lauded the publishers – the Tourism and Hospitality Association of Guyana (THAG) led by Harrinand Persaud – for the new and upgraded features of the magazine’s online edition.
This is important to Guyana’s competitive strategy and partially why much is being invested in ICT and improving connectivity.
The Head-of-State said as well that much appreciation must be given to the partnership between the government and private sector as they both played an integral role in cushioning the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the country’s tourism sector.
But now that the world has adjusted to the “new normal”, the President said that focus has to be placed on building ‘Destination Guyana’ and an excellent starting point is the magazine.
Among the exciting new features in the 2022 edition, according to THAG President, Harrinand Persaud were the stories told by the British High Commissioner, Jane Miller OBE, and US Ambassador Sarah Ann-Lynch detailing their first-hand experiences touring Guyana. Both diplomats were present at the launch.
Added to that, the magazine also features a piece on First Lady Arya Ali’s flagship national beautification project.
And already planning for next year, the THAG President said that the next edition will feature more local attractions like the “eco-parks on the West Bank of Demerara” and so much more.
Apart from showcasing Guyana’s unique tourist destinations, Director of the Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA) Kamrul Baksh said that the magazine also shows to the world “how safe a destination we are.”
“It seamlessly blends very vivid imagery, apart from the Go-Pro shots to really capture the beauty of Guyana and it mixes tradition with growth, and that is exactly what we want to see here…we want to maintain the authenticity, but we also want to have that balance,” Baksh said.
The magazine, available free of cost, also includes events planned in Guyana for each month of the year and lists the names of hotels and other pertinent information about the country to help guide tourists and make their visits here, exciting and smooth.