The Tourism Ministry will ramp-up efforts in 2017 to improve and make diaspora tourism more sophisticated in an effort to enhance Guyana’s economy.
Director General of Tourism, Donald Sinclair in an interview with the Government Information Agency (GINA), said special attention must be paid to diaspora tourism which must be marketed differently.
“We get frequent visits from persons in the diaspora who want to offer their help and play a role in driving more Guyanese to visit Guyana. It is not easy to say they’re Guyanese so they must come, that is a serious mistake, so we have to be careful,” Sinclair explained.
He pointed out that as the tourism sector grows, there are other alternatives to take into consideration to attract more tourists. The Ministry is exploring different markets, “including the weekenders, you can come into Guyana spend a weekend… other niche markets, yachts and cruises for example, so we’re looking to grow some specific markets and identify some hot spots,” Sinclair explained.
The Director General noted that for many years, the Rupununi Savannahs have been the hotspot area along with Bartica, Essequibo, Mahaica River, some areas of Canje and Demerara. “Depending on the planning, the attractions that you’re identifying could be significant tourism hotspots that would significantly impact Guyana’s economy at large.”
Additionally Indigenous, African, and Indian culture are also of potential interest to tourists, but it is important to protect these cultures and communities, particularly hinterland communities, from the negative impact which tourism can have on their traditional way of life, Sinclair explained.
Diaspora tourism can also promote a number of Guyana’s sites including Fort Island, Magdalenenburg and Kyk-Over-Al, both for their historical and architectural value, Sinclair stated. (Ranetta la Fleur/ GINA)