Six international tour operators from the United Kingdom (UK) and Australia recently completed a familiarisation tour of Guyana through local tour company Wilderness Explorers.
The operators hail from tour companies like Cox and Kings, Lateral Life and Galapagos Classic from the UK and Jumbo Reisen, South American Travel Centre from Australia and Wilderness Explorers Guyana.
During a press briefing at the Guyana Marriott Hotel, General Manager of Wilderness Explorer, Tony Thorne said the annual familiarisation tour is part of his company’s marketing strategy to push tourism in Guyana.
Tour operators from various countries were invited to experience the vastness of Guyana and help to promote tourism in Guyana.
“We bring tour operators to see the destination. We need cooperation. Trying to sell destination Guyana alone is not possible without partnerships. And those partnerships range from working with international tour operators and the Guyana Tourism Authority and other suppliers,” Thorne said.
The General Manager said the trip started in French Guiana with three operators. They then visited Suriname and was then joined by three others; the tour then concluded in Guyana.
After visits to the rainforest, Kaieteur Falls, a number of Indigenous villages, several towns throughout Guyana and the capital city of Georgetown the tour operators all said they were impressed with the massiveness of the country.
Noting several highlights of the familiarisation tour, the operators said the Guyanese hospitality is one that cannot be compared to the over 150 countries they have travelled.
Steve Wilson of Lateral Life in the United Kingdom, said: “We feel so privileged to have met people from so many diverse cultural backgrounds. You can fake a lot of things these days, but you cannot fake a genuine authentic welcome. We are very grateful for that; Guyana really delivered above and beyond.”
He added, “Kaieteur Falls is the most spectacular thing we have ever seen in our lives no matter how many times you have travelled. I see it as a driving force in getting the country out there…many countries in the world do not have that wow factor.”
The operators said they look forward to promoting destination Guyana through various mediums like the internet, website blogs and marketing campaigns with their partners.
Attending the event were Director of Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA), Brian Mullis, Deputy British High Commissioner, Ray Davidson and other members of the Tourism and Hospitality Association of Guyana.