Attaining 100% conformity with Tourism Regulations and being issued with an operating License should be viewed as a privilege and not a right.
This pronouncement was made by the Director of Roraima Group of Companies, Captain Gerry Gouveia as he was presented with the operating license for Roraima Tours, from the Guyana Tourism Authority.
“This s a privilege and not a right; it is a privilege that we have to earn every day that can be revoked. The Authority (GTA) must be able to impose sanctions on those businesses that are non complaint,” he stated.
The Ministry of Tourism and the Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA), in an effort to prepare local businesses to become more competitive , are striving to ensure that these establishments meet the necessary requirements expected by any tourist or visitor visiting any one of these facilities, whether overseas or locals.
As he presented the certificate, the Director of the GTA, Mr. Indranauth Haralsingh, urged Captain Gouveia to use the opportunity to encourage other tourism businesses to do the same and to commit to the process.
He said, “This is in no way a difficult process, but it is a process that requires commitment. We want to take this opportunity to congratulate you on this achievement and for following through with the process. This is a significant achievement and should set the precedent for other businesses.”
Haralsingh acknowledged that with the growth in the tourism sector, conformity to set standards and regulations should be the focus of tourism establishments, even as they employ the best marketing and promotional strategies.
“It is an important gesture for all the operators in the industry. It is a very important that guests are made aware as we have issues with rogue operators. We have to be able to protect the unsuspecting consumers from people who would prey on tourists and smear the country and the industry. This is very important and we are very pleased to have complied,” Gouveia concurred.
Benefits of Registration
On the issue of Registration, The GTA Director made a special appeal to those businesses that have not yet registered; he urged them to recognize the importance of the exercise and the many benefits of compliance.
“The first step is to be registered. You may have various reasons but no business is too small to be registered especially if people are putting all their faith and trust in you,” he urged.
Alluding to the benefits to be derived from achieving 100% compliance, Haralsingh explained that the GTA will be separating these businesses and will provide a listing on their website; this will determine who gets support in terms of both local and international exposure.
“The GTA’s Act and these regulations say that you need a license to operate any one of these businesses, we will not want our visitors to have a tourism experience with an unregistered and unlicensed business,” the GTA Director explained.
Roraima Tours is the second Tour Operator to receive certification; late last year Wilderness Explorers achieved this important milestone, and only a few days ago, Rock View Lodge Eco Tourism Resort was presented with their license under the Interior Lodges and Resort category.
The GTA will continue to monitor and evaluate hospitality institutions across the country in their effort to ensure that the Tourism Industry in Guyana continues to grow and expand.