Local authorities expect a record-breaking number of visitors for 2024. In fact, the Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA) projects that the world’s fastest growing economy could see as much as 350,000 visitors.

Last year, Guyana also experienced a significant uptick in tourists, with 319,147 recorded for that period. While this represents an 11 percent increase over 2022, local authorities say this record will clearly be broken this year.

From January to April 2024 alone, the nation has already seen a 12.4% surge in tourist arrivals compared to the same period in 2023, with 112,751 visitors exploring its diverse landscapes and cultural offerings.

Several key factors are driving this growth. A significant expansion in air connectivity has made travel to Guyana more accessible than ever before. New routes and increased flight frequency have played a crucial role in boosting tourist numbers, making the country a more attractive destination for international travelers. Additionally, the global resurgence in tourism, particularly from Asian markets, has further contributed to the influx of visitors.

Guyana’s strategic positioning in the tourism sector has also paid dividends. The country has ramped up its marketing efforts, promoting its unique attractions, including pristine rainforests, vibrant cultural festivals, and a burgeoning eco-tourism sector. This concerted push to showcase Guyana as a premier travel destination is resonating with a diverse array of tourists, enhancing its appeal on the global stage.

To accommodate the growing number of visitors, Guyana has been expanding its tourism infrastructure. In 2024, the country is set to add 595 new hotel rooms, significantly increasing its accommodation capacity. This expansion is crucial in meeting the demand and ensuring that tourists have access to high-quality lodging options.

Moreover, Guyana is leveraging its rich cultural calendar to attract tourists. Major events such as the Rupununi Rodeo, Mashramani, and the Cricket Carnival are key attractions that draw large crowds. These events not only celebrate the nation’s cultural heritage but also provide unique experiences that entice both local and international visitors.

The tourism sector’s growth is having a profound impact on the local economy. The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) reports that in 2023, the industry supported over 18,000 jobs in Guyana. This employment boost is a testament to the sector’s role as a significant economic driver, fostering job creation and contributing to the country’s overall prosperity.

Guyana’s burgeoning oil industry is another critical factor contributing to the tourism boom. The ongoing oil production has not only enhanced the country’s economic standing but also piqued the interest of international travelers and investors alike. The economic upturn associated with oil production has facilitated increased marketing efforts and product development within the tourism sector, further bolstering visitor numbers.

Visitor demographics reveal interesting trends. In 2023, a substantial portion of tourists hailed from the United States, making up 47% of the total arrivals. Visitors from the Caribbean accounted for 27%, followed by Canada at 9%, Europe at 6%, and South and Central America also at 6%.

Notably, 45% of the arrivals were diaspora visitors, individuals with personal or familial ties to Guyana, highlighting the country’s role as a home away from home for many. The remaining 55% were non-diaspora tourists, predominantly from the Caribbean and the United States, drawn to Guyana’s unique blend of natural beauty and cultural richness.

Leisure travel remains the primary motive for most visitors, accounting for 69% of total arrivals in 2023. Guyana’s reputation as an eco-tourism hotspot, combined with its vibrant festivals and cultural experiences, makes it an appealing destination for tourists seeking adventure and relaxation. Business travel, comprising 17% of total arrivals, is also on the rise, reflecting the country’s growing importance as a hub for commerce and investment, particularly in the context of its expanding oil sector.

Kamrul Baksh, Director of the Guyana Tourism Authority, expressed confidence in the country’s trajectory, stating, “I am confident that we are on the right path to achieving remarkable success with support from all key stakeholders, including the Government of Guyana through the Ministry of Tourism, Industry and Commerce. Guyana is on an undeniable path to greatness.”

As Guyana gears up to welcome an unprecedented number of visitors in 2024, the nation’s tourism sector is not just recovering but thriving. The continued collaboration between public and private sectors will be crucial in sustaining this momentum, ensuring that Guyana remains a prime destination for tourists from around the world.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here