Rupununi being promoted as LGBTQ-friendly destination
... -Int’l promotion, more tourists expected
Rupununi, a premier tourism destination in Guyana, will be promoted as a space that is inclusive and friendly to all groups of people regardless of their sexual orientiation, as local groups are working together to roll out sensitivity training and much-needed partnerships.
The Guyana LGBTQ+ Coalition and the Visit Rupununi tourism organisation inked a historic Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Thursday.
Through this MoU, the groups hope to provide a safe, inclusive and friendly space to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer (LGBTQ+) community when travelling in the Rupununi.
Managing Director of the Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD) Joel Simpson explained that the MoU will see tourism personnel in the Rupununi getting training on sexual and gender diversity, while SASOD will be able to tailor tourism packages for LQBTQ tourists.
He says the underpinning aim of the new agreement is for the organisations to support each other’s work. That means boosting tourism in the Rupununi by making it a more inviting place for diverse groups of people, and for the coalition, safeguarding LGBTQ rights.
Once the organisations are able to improve the tourism package in the Rupununi, making it more friendly for the community, efforts will be made to have ‘Destination Rupununi’ listed on international travel sites.
Doing so is expected to attract more tourists and as such, more tourism business for Guyana. And President of Visit Rupununi Melanie McTurk acknowledges that there are big business opportunities.
According to her, the global LGBTQ travel market is worth more than US$218 billion- a significant sum that Guyana can tap into.
“… it is important for the Rupununi that we continue to equip ourselves with the skills and knowledge to appeal to an ever-growing market base to ensure that all visitors to the Rupununi are treated with equal respect and consideration,” McTurk underscored.