Attempts to revise and put in place new regulations for tourism licensing have not been granted approval by the relevant authorities. Director of the Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA), Brian T. Mullis, in commenting on this state of affairs said, “We wish to advise the public and the tourism sector that [this was] due to delays outside our control.”
Notwithstanding, he said that 18 tourism providers are currently licensed and an additional 100 plus guides and businesses are actively in the process of becoming licensed. “While this represents a marked improvement over previous years, many tourism providers have neglected to take steps to become compliant with the law,” Mullis added.
Based on the GTA Act of 2002, “the GTA reserves the right to exercise our ability to impose fines for non-compliance to the tourism regulations.” The law states too that “any person who operates a tourism business without a licence is guilty of an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of G$1.6M and a further fine of G$80,000 for each day which the offence continues after conviction.”
Tour guides and tourism businesses that are not in compliance with the GTA tourism regulations are therefore urged to make immediate contact with the GTA for guidance on the next steps to get licensed.
Mullis disclosure comes even as reports circulate that there has been a reported increase of visitors to Guyana. This has resulted in a demand for improved standards and Mullis said that the GTA is actively taking steps to ensure that the local tourism product meets international quality and safety standards.
In so doing he revealed, “We [GTA] are fully committed to working with the tourism sector to achieve this goal and in the process license 100 percent of tour guides and tourism businesses by 2020.”