The Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA) has partnered with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to facilitate a visit by an award-winning nature-based Peruvian entrepreneur for presentations on building and marketing tourism value chains in Guyana.
The first presentation by Eduardo Nycander targeted members of the local tourism industry, several of whom attended the event at Herdmanston Lodge yesterday.
Director of the GTA Indranauth Haralsingh, in opening remarks, outlined the importance of building and marketing tourism value chains.
“Marketing is critical for us and we must cultivate and further strengthen the culture of collaboration and trust to generate economies of scale, reduce cost, and improve our product quality in order for destination Guyana to be more competitive,” he remarked.
“Take for instance the North Rupununi as a geographic cluster and a good example of tourism value chain. It is important for us to focus on what buyers want, the market demands and the end market as opposed to focusing more on the supply side of tourism. There is need for inter-firm collaboration and to build and to focus maybe on one segment at a time,” he added.
Commenting on Nycander’s role in this, Haralsingh said, “The GTA has always been committed to the development of tourism in Guyana and marketing, training and capacity building. It is for this reason that we seized the opportunity to utilise the expertise of Eduardo, who is here to share his past experiences and best practices in successfully marketing their tourism lodges with a focus on building and marketing tourism value chains.”
Meanwhile, Chuck Hutchinson, Protected Areas Lead of the WWF, outline the role of protected areas in boosting Guyana’s tourism potential.
“We at WWF have been hearing the president talking about expanding protected areas in Guyana and we hear opposition to that; that this is going to tie up land and unproductive uses and the rest. But I think we need to look at the opportunities protected areas create and the real potential Guyana has as a tourism destination. As the only English-speaking country in South America and as a country with spectacular landscapes and people, ecosystems and incredible diversity, I think if you look at what Costa Rica and Peru have done with developing nature-based tourism, I think there is a real model for us there,” Hutchinson said.
Alluding to tourism in the Rupununi, the WWF official noted that this specific region has seen “enormous growth” over the last two decades and, therefore, emphasis should now be placed on marketing rather than product development.
“When we first started talking about tourism in the Rupununi, it was happening but at a slow rate. But there has been an enormous growth over the last 15 or 20 years, with the establishment of lodges that are ready to accommodate international visitors. We have places like Surama and Rewa and Yupakari, Rock View and Caiman House,” Hutchinson said.
“I think we are in a better place than we were 15 to 20 years ago, so we don’t really have to focus on product development. Instead we can look at marketing and bringing tourists here and I think it’s very timely for us to hear Eduardo,” he added.
Aside from yesterday’s interactive session with the private sector, Nycander is scheduled to facilitate a more general presentation this afternoon at Moray House Trust at 6 pm for the benefit of the public.