A multi-agency Tourism Recovery Action Committee (TRAC) will be convened this week to discuss ways to improve the declining tourism industry which has suffered millions in losses largely attributable to the suppression of travel resulting from the measures in place to contain COVID-19.

The agencies involved are The Department of Tourism in the Ministry of Business, in collaboration with the Guyana Tourism Authority, the Tourism and Hospitality Association of Guyana and the Small Business Bureau.

The establishment of TRAC is driven by the fact that globally the tourism industry has been severely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Almost all tourism destinations have experienced almost total shutdowns of the industry.

In Guyana, after a solid performance in 2019, the tourism industry is expecting a period of negative growth in 2020, largely attributable to the suppression of travel due to COVID-19.

In light of the place that tourism has recently been recognized to occupy in the Guyana economy – as the No. 2 foreign exchange earner –recovery should be a matter of national priority.

According to a statement from the Department of Tourism, tourism recovery is integral to national recovery. It said that the mission of this Committee will be to propose research-based solutions and define viable strategies for the tourism sector in Guyana through a process of multi-agency and multi-stakeholder collaboration aimed at accelerating recovery from the adverse economic and other impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Over the next 12 months, the Committee will be focusing its work upon a wide range of impact areas as it seeks to nurture the tourism sector back to full recovery and will be assisted by a number of specialist, advisory sub-committees.

These advisory sub-committees will be exploring and proposing solutions in areas such as safety and sanitation, strategic marketing, tech-innovation, international partnerships, finance and resource mobilization, communications management, ports and frontiers, product resilience, research and data collection.

By means of a sustained engagement with local and international stakeholders, the committee hopes to tap into a wide pool of best practices and recovery intelligence in order to jump-start tourism business in Guyana safely and in phases.

In this effort there will be participation by the public sector, private sector, community, municipal and regional entities and international organisations.

With the Minister of Business having direct oversight responsibility for TRAC, its Secretariat will be the Department of Tourism in South Road, Georgetown

Meanwhile, the Central Committee of TRAC (comprising the Department of Tourism, the Guyana Tourism Authority, the Tourism and Hospitality Association of Guyana and the Small Business Bureau) is expected to hold its first meeting this week in order to plan the immediate lines of action to be pursued.


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