The Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA) has been working closely with a number of sister agencies and private stakeholders to elevate the tourism sector in Guyana. To formalise this approach, the GTA earlier this month successfully completed two roundtable stakeholder engagements in Georgetown on June 6, 2019 and in Lethem on June 12, 2019.
A total of 45 tourism stakeholders representing tour operators, interior lodges and resorts, hotels, communities, and non-governmental organisations such as The Tourism and Hospitality Association of Guyana (THAG), Conservation International (CI), Visit Rupununi, and North Rupununi District Development Board (NRDDB), were in attendance.
Brian T. Mullis, Director of GTA, and Carla James, Deputy Director of GTA, spearheaded the engagements and facilitated the sessions, held under the umbrella – “Tourism Development Challenges and Solutions: We all have a Role to Play.”
Discussions were focused on the tourism strategy, priorities, and outcomes to date for the 2019-2020 period. The primary focus was to foster a dialogue on the importance of collaboration in an effort to create shared ownership and buy-in for roles that all stakeholders need to play. Emphasis was placed on how critical areas such as reinstating regularly scheduled flights into the hinterland, prioritising policy and critical infrastructure improvements, and raising awareness of the importance and value of tourism nationally are all reliant on the roles each individual stakeholder plays in tourism.
Further, by increasing the collective reach of the tourism sector through cooperative marketing and promotions, and meeting the growing market demand by meeting international safety, quality and sustainability standards, the tourism sector will undoubtedly reap the benefits and raise its profile.
“These stakeholder engagements are important for the GTA and members of the tourism sector to share our strategies and priorities and discuss the ways in which both can be improved,” said Mullis. “Only through this level of multi-stakeholder collaboration can tourism realise its potential as a force for good in Guyana.”
“We feel it is important to have general stakeholder engagements of this nature to identify solutions to the shared challenges we face within the tourism sector and to determine tourism policy and infrastructure priorities,” echoed Carla James.
As part of its annual budget planning cycle, the GTA intends to host yearly stakeholder engagements with a solution-oriented approach to build a stronger tourism sector.