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-GTA says as it hails reopening of borders amid pandemic
The Guyana Tourism Authority said that the industry contributed some $24B to the local economy as of September last year, which it based on estimated average expenditure per visitor per type at US$1,060.
Amid the worsening pandemic the GTA boasts that the reopening of the international borders has resulted in a sharp improvement in the visitor arrivals statistics when compared to 2020.
In its yearend report, the GTA said as of September 2021, the total visitor arrival figures stood at at106,428. This, the GTA said reflects a 23% overall increase when compared to2020. The United States recorded the highest arrivals (68%), followed by the Caribbean (16%), and Canada (5%). In2021, most visitors travelled to Destination Guyana for holiday (64%), business (12%),visiting friends and relatives (10%),among other reasons (14%)
Meanwhile, the GTA said that a consistent level of support is needed by tourism businesses to ensure that the sector continues to recover safely and as such, through the support from the GTA, there has been a marked increase in tourism businesses being licenced.
To date, 15 tour operators, seven tourism accommodation establishments and eight tourist guides were licenced by the GTA. Additionally, 56 tourism businesses were granted conditional approvals for reopening. The inspection efforts provided by the GTA supported the tourism businesses with their preparation for a safe reopening through a 2-step process which entailed: submission of the business’ written Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to the GTA for a desk review; on-site inspection of businesses to verify the implementation of the SOPs and conditional approval by the GTA.
Additionally, the GTA said it continues to work towards strengthening resilience and improving the product offering of the industry and executed key training sessions in areas of Delivering Quality Service, First Aid & CPR, Culinary Arts, Green Events/Event Planning, Successful Taxi Driver and more importantly Hygiene & Sanitation protocols. A total of 1507 persons have been trained for 2021 in these areas.
Director (ag.) of the GTA Kamrul Baksh, remarking on the achievements of the authority this year indicated that: “The way things have panned out since the start of the global health pandemic has had a tremendous effect on the sector. With the shutdown, lasting many months, it was imperative to craft a way forward, and with the remarkable strengthen shown by stakeholders, and ably supported by government programmes, the tourism sector has made significant strides in the journey towards recovery. Just take a look at the visitor arrival statistics, the number of businesses that have been licensed and conditionally approved and the significant level of international recognition that the country has gained… the impact of our work at the authority is tremendous and we will continue to do what’s necessary for our sector, including advocating for the Government of Guyana’s vaccination policy.”
He further expressed that, “In 2022, the Ministry of Tourism, Industry & Commerce through the Guyana Tourism Authority will continue to seek a consistent level of collaboration with other Governmental ministries and agencies to ensure that tourism development in Guyana continues to strive in the field of tourism. New tourism circuits will be functional at the end of the new year, and more high-quality experiential tourism products will be readily available for travellers across
the spectrum. We will also be prioritising digital marketing opportunities with renewed partnerships with international marketing firms, airlines, tour operators and others.”