Tourism Authority making services more accessible; launches business licensing portal
In a bid to make its services more accessible to stakeholders countrywide, the Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA) has launched its business licensing portal – an online service that will eliminate the need for persons desirous of registering with the authority to travel to the authority’s Georgetown office to do so.
Speaking at the portal’s launching event at the Herdmanston Lodge Hotel, Georgetown on Monday, Director at Guyana Tourism Authority Kamrul Baksh said that the move is a “conscious effort” to ensure the authority’s services “reach the sector” and are more accessible.
“We’re trying to bring all of our services even more accessible, readily available to the sector; and this platform here – that is the tourism business licensing portal, which will be housed on our website – persons will be able to access this service quite easily,” Baksh said.
The portal, accessible at guyanatourism.com, will enable applicants to upload their required registration documents as well as pay any relevant fees on the web portal.
The authority’s Training and Licensing Manager, Timeka Ingles said the “much needed” portal will benefit current and potential stakeholders as the authority “strive” to make their licensing “as smooth as possible”.
Ingles highlighted that the licensing process may be “a bit overwhelming”, coupled with securing other relevant requirements from agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Guyana Fire Service, and the Ministry of Housing and Water, among other entities.
“The GTA is putting strategies in place to support our community by providing the necessary guidance and financial provisions to help them in the licensing process as well as build their capacity to become competitive in this evolving tourism landscape,” Ingles said.
The authority’s aim is that the portal will bring about a positive change in the regulation process and be an added value to the industry’s stakeholders across Guyana, especially outside of Region Four (Demerara – Mahaica).
Stakeholders expressed delight with the move describing the portal as a project that is welcomed.
Offering congratulatory remarks to the GTA, Melanie McTurk, President of Visit Rupununi – a regional destination management and marketing organisation, said the project is “absolutely” what stakeholders have been “begging” for.
“If you’ve been in the hinterland and trying to get your tourism site registered then you know it is not only an arduous process of backwards and forwards but also an incredibly expensive one requiring people to travel over great distances,” McTurk said.
President of the Tourism and Hospitality Association of Guyana (THAG) Harrinand Persaud shared similar sentiments, noting that the process will simplify the registration process and save time.
He called for more agencies in other sectors to emulate the project which essentially digitizes a rather tedious process.
“With the housing and building, it’s a lot of tedious back and forth also to get a building plan approved, something which takes as long as a year or more; so this move today I’m hoping that all the other agencies are looking at,” he said.