The government of Guyana is committed to prioritising the development of Guyana’s tourism sector.
Minister of Business with the responsibility of Tourism, Dominic Gaskin said the tourism sector of the country has the potential to make a major contribution to the “Good Life” which the government has promised Guyanese.
Region Ten is one region which will be embracing sustainable tourism development. According to a GINA report, Regional Chairman Renis Morian said the region has being trying with Tourism in Linden for two decades. However, the approach has been wrong because tourism cannot be done on a mass scale in Linden, he noted.
“We need to create a more home-based tourism that will not only attract persons from other regions but can sustain the residents of Linden,” the Regional Chairman explained.
Morian related to GINA that he recently returned from a trip to China and what he saw was confirmation with his vision for the tourism sector for the region.
He explains that 95 per cent of the residents of Linden do not know what is happening five miles from where they live. He explained that they are looking to turn the rivers of Linden into a tourists’ attraction; tourists’ boats could be available on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, with tourists listening to relaxing music, while they just enjoy the scenery or just read a book.
Another tourism initiative that the region will be developing is ‘visits to mines’ in surrounding communities around the region. “If you take a picture of the mines here and tell persons that it is a mine in Colorado, they ill believe you because it is so beautiful,” Morian pointed out.
The Regional Chairman noted that the business sector will also benefit significantly with the implementation of the tourism initiatives in the region. The Food Industry is one example that the Regional Chairman listed that is expected to benefit from the tourism initiatives.
He noted that residents in Linden especially the women are very talented with their hands and that with the boat rides initiative residents can establish clean food stalls at the destination points or sell their produce on the boat as well.
Another industry that is set to benefit is the craft industry. Morian said that residents who live in communities surrounding the mines would usually make arts and crafts for sale. He noted that when the bus tours of the mines are being conducted, the residents can place their arts and crafts on display for sale.
These initiatives among others are part of the Region’s five year developmental plans.
The government is set to undertake a stocktaking exercise of potential sources of tourism products within the ten administrative regions, in 2017.
National Tourism Policy which is currently being reviewed includes focus on developing market-ready tourism products, enhancing the quality of service, generating increased employment in the sector, and improving tourism’s contribution to economic growth. These will clearly identify elements of nature, culture, heritage, community, and other assets that could serve as the basis for the development of tourism in the Regions.