The Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA) expects that several European tour operators will now be selling Destination Guyana following a Familiarisation (Fam) Trip that a group just completed here.
According to a Government Information Agency (GINA) press release, the Fam trip is the most proactive, cost effective tour, as it promotes Destination Guyana, and helps to expand sales and distribution. “There has been a 9% increase in the number of tourists who have visited Guyana thus far in 2013 following the 17% increase in 2012,” GINA said.
GTA Director Indranauth Haralsingh praised Wilderness Explorers for organising the trip in partnership with Caribbean Airlines and other stakeholders, at a debriefing reception held for the participants in the tour. He noted that many companies are not participating in the travel trade distribution system and more of them are relying on direct marketing through the internet. As such, he urged more tourism operators and resort owners to come onboard because the Fam trip will boost the tourism sector and achieve wonders for Guyana.
The GTA head also acknowledged that one of the major problems for destination Guyana is its image. Guyana is not a very well-known or popular country and, many have not heard of it. However, the Fam trip will aid in this respect because most of the tour operators who participated were pleased and are expected to publish a favourable report in their catalogues.
Several “highly regarded” tour operators including Exodus Travel, Into Latin America, Chameleon Worldwide, Kuoni, Happy Lama Travel, and Kabalebo (Suriname) along with a senior member of Caribbean Airlines’ London Travel Office participated in the trip.
The visitors were given a complete tour of the country and spent nine days touring the different regions.
“They were able to experience the beautiful rainforest, visit the Roy Geddes museum, traverse the Iwokrama Canopy walkway, and savour the beauty of Rewa, Rock View, and of course the majestic Kaieteur falls,” GINA said.
In his address, British High Commissioner Andrew Ayre said the United Kingdom has always been interested in Guyana and its economic development, and as such has been generously contributing money in development assistance to Guyana each year. This contribution also includes providing 15% of the money to the largest aid donor, the European Union.
Europe and North America remain Guyana’s largest trade and development partners, with more than 20 times more Guyanese exports going to developed markets than China and India combined. More than 75 per cent of the tourists who visit Guyana come from the developed world.