Of the 410 persons that participated in the Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA)’s Resident Survey, 129 suggested that, in order to improve the tourism sector, a reduction in transportation fees (air, river, and land) attached to visiting certain destinations should be implemented.
The main purpose of the survey was to capture critical information from Guyanese residents on their perception of the tourism sector; their level of awareness and understanding of the benefits of the sector; and how the sector can improve.
The survey was executed online through the GTA’s social media platforms – Instagram and Facebook – and through a field exercise that was conducted in Georgetown at the City Mall and Giftland Mall on the East Coast of Demerara from May 20-June 25. A resident sample of 410 participants was collected and analysed to derive valuable information that will be utilised by the GTA in improving how it operates and relates to locals.
To help put the findings of the survey into perspective, the GTA highlighted the primary outcomes.
Firstly, 275 respondents who participated in the survey were from Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica). This accounts for 67% of the overall respondents. Out of this 275,263 (64%) were female and within the age range 25-49. Secondly, 223 respondents, which account for more than 50% of participants, felt that the tourism sector is in its initial stages of development.
Secondly, they further expressed their confidence in the tourism sector’s continuous ability to promote the preservation of Guyana’s pristine landscapes, exotic wildlife, and cultural heritage.
Thirdly, the GTA announced that the perceptions of service quality were higher than expected. It was noted that 56% of the overall respondents rated the quality of tourism services (Accommodation, Tours & Activities, Restaurants, Transportation, and Entertainment) as being good/excellent.
Further, the authority said that there is strong national pride in Guyana’s natural heritage. Two hundred and thirty respondents, who accounted for 56%, acknowledged that Guyana’s tourism sector, and by extension, National Pride in Guyana, is reflected in our pristine, untouched rainforests, protected areas and natural attractions. Further, respondents suggested that Guyanese locals should place more emphasis on being hospitable, becoming more aware of the tourism sector, and keeping the city and its environs clean to improve the tourism sector.
Lastly, the respondents indicated a first base knowledge of the roles and responsibilities of the tourism agencies: Department of Tourism, Guyana Tourism Authority, and the Tourism and Hospitality Association of Guyana.
Tourism is currently the second-largest export sector in Guyana. The GTA is constantly aiming to raise awareness of the benefits, increase the economic impact of the sector, and maximise the local economic benefits to residents. The results of this survey have indicated key areas that require attention by the sector, which will be acted upon accordingly.
GTA is a semi-autonomous governmental organisation responsible for developing and promoting sustainable tourism in Guyana through collaboration with sister agencies and the tourism private sector in order to maximise local socio-economic and conservation outcomes and improve the visitors’ experience. The GTA is focused on Guyana becoming recognised locally and internationally as a premier destination for protecting its natural and cultural heritage, providing authentic experiences, and maximising local economic benefits.