The Roraima Duke Lodge Hotel, Atta Rainforest Lodge and Old Fort Tours were among several tourism-based enterprises who were award recipients from the Tourism and Hospitality Association of Guyana (THAG) on Saturday evening during the THAG’s 26th Annual President’s Awards and Masquerade Ball.
While the Roraima Duke Lodge Hotel secured the award for Hotel of the Year, Atta Rainforest was named the Best Resort of the Year, and Old Fort Tours was the winner of the Direct Tourism Services award.
An award for Supporting Tourism Services was presented to Nurse Marcia Gravesande, who is attached to the Eugene F. Correia International Airport, and is known for her work in training staff in emergency medical response, while Chief Financial Officer of the Correia Group of Companies, Nicole Correia was named the winner of the 2018 Hall of Fame award.
Meanwhile, Minister of Business Dominic Gaskin, who also has responsibility for the local Tourism Sector, made a call for there to be more collaboration among those in the sector.
“As we develop tourism in Guyana we must get it right. Getting it right is not just the responsibility of government or the private sector. I think it is a collective responsibility of government, the private sector, as well as various communities that wish to participate in tourism in Guyana,” the Minister said.
Gaskin also noted that more emphasis should be placed on the marketing of Guyana’s hinterland as eco- tourism destinations.
“We believe that our particular product is very attractive to a market segment that is not interested in mass tourism. They’re interested in a more authentic experience: nature-based, people-based tourism,” he added.
Similar sentiments were shared by THAG’s Immediate Past President, Andrea De Caires, who said, “Tourism is not competitive, it is a combined effort that allows development.”
She also shared her belief that by protecting what is considered our natural resources, Guyana can benefit from a “truly extraordinary business that can support us in the long run.”
Meanwhile, President of the Guyana Tourism Authority, Brian Mullis said that the association has been working with its partners to address issues affecting the sector’s development.
“We are integrating the guidelines and licensing system with training, so that it would be a more unified system, to raise the standard is Guyana’s goal,” Mullis noted.