The specialist firms recently hired by the Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA) to market Guyana as a tourist destination in North America and Germany were retained at a total cost of US$545,815 through a restrictive tendering process.
Nicole Balram, GTA Public Relations Officer, said the firms—Emerging Destinations in partnership with Green Team Global and Corner Sun Destination Marketing, which are tasked with pushing Guyana in the US and Canada, and Fast Forward Marketing, which would be responsible for the German market— were selected through the public procurement process.
According to National Procurement and Tender Administration Board minutes seen by Stabroek News, German firm Fast Forward Marketing proposed US$311,845 as the cost for its activities, while Emerging Destination in Association with Green Team Global presented a breakdown of their fee structure in the tender document submitted. They proposed US$77,170 for out of pocket expenses, US$13,800 for roadshow exposition and US$143,000 as the representation fee.
Balram explained that the companies are engaged on annual contracts, with the expectation of renewal. The companies were shortlisted after submitting expressions of interest in 2017.
The contractual agreement between the international companies and GTA came into effect in August.
On Sunday, GTA’s Director Brian Mullis told a press briefing at Cara Lodge that the firms are to reach new media influencers, travel tourism businesses and consumers in source markets in an effort to raise awareness of “Destination Guyana.” Mullis explained that the firms were all chosen based on their in “depth expertise and works with emerging destinations and longstanding relationship with the media.”
The companies will be marketing Guyana as must-go destination as it is yet to be discovered by many.
President of Emerging Destinations, Jane Behrend said, “We are going to market Guyana as the new (go-to) destination. People are desperate for new ideas and new places to go, writers especially, and so little is known in your market….”
The tourism marketing experts explained during the press conference on Sunday that tourist and tour companies are constantly looking for new undiscovered destinations. They believe Guyana has the potential to find its way on the global map once discovered.
Hugh Hough, who works along with the Behrend and is the president of Green Team Global, asserted that Guyana has a tourism package that is unique, making it a suitable destination for the new go-to destination.
“Guyana is not cheap but what Guyana has is what tourists are looking for—something new. A lot of travellers want to be the first to go to a place before their friends and a lot of people don’t know about Guyana but we are going to shine the spotlight and get the right people to appreciate what you have…,” said David DiGregorio, Managing Director of Corner Sun Destination Marketing, who is working along with Emerging Destinations.
Both firms intend to market Guyana through travel and destination magazines, social media, travel agents and tour companies. The marketing strategy also includes promoting Destination Guyana at trade shows, and the use of ambassador programmes.