Guyana a Muslim-friendly tourism destination -Ambassador to Qatar tells Islamic conference
With tourism investments in Guyana projected to be US$35 million by 2028, the Government of Guyana envisions widening the country’s tourism brand – a part of which is the development of Muslim-friendly tourism.
This was disclosed by Guyana’s Ambassador to Qatar, Safraaz Ahmad Shadood at the Eleventh Session of the Islamic Conference of Tourism Ministers (ICTM) in Baku, Azerbaijan held from June 27 to June 29.
Shadood informed the gathering that Islam is one of the main religions in Guyana, noting Islamic traditions and principles are well known, celebrated, and appreciated across the country.
“These realities present us with a good opportunity to work with the local Muslim communities to build on the foundations that we already have which are conducive to the growth of Muslim-Friendly Tourism in Guyana,” he said.
He added that the country’s tourism product is well aligned with many of the basic principles of Islam including inclusivity, peace, and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.
According to Shadood, the development of this brand of tourism aligns with President Dr. Irfaan Ali’s vision of a ‘One Guyana’ which involves deep intercultural understanding in a multicultural society, where inclusivity characterizes relations among citizens and the government, and where everyone lives in unity and harmony.
“The Government of Guyana is therefore prepared to ensure that ‘Destination Guyana’ is also welcoming of the Muslim traveler.
“To this end, we are open to investors incorporating Muslim-friendly infrastructure into their construction plans for hotels and restaurants to feature amenities such as prayer rooms and Qibla signage,” Shadood said.
Additionally, Shadood mentioned that mechanisms are already in place to make it standard for service providers, businesses and all tourism-related agencies to be certified Halal.
He noted that attention will also be placed on providing facilities for ablution, providing gender-sensitive recreational spaces as well as facilities for the fulfilment of religious obligations.
Shadood took the opportunity to affirm the Strategic Roadmap for Development of Islamic Tourism in Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Member States and underscore that funding for projects to aid capacity development, marketing, and promotion both at the national and regional levels are key to its full implementation.
He pledged Guyana’s unwavering commitment to the OIC’s efforts for broadening the availability of Muslim-Friendly Tourism products across the world.