Cross Border Tourism taking Hold…120 Surinamese Exploring Destination Guyana

Canawaima Ferry Crossing

Canawaima Ferry Crossing

The essence of Guyana’s unique tourism product continues to attract more visitors to our shores and they continue to cross our borders in large numbers, in anticipation of experiencing the taste, feel and sounds of our distinct culture.

As Guyana seeks to strengthen links with our South America and Caribbean neighbours , the influx of visitors hints at the growing popularity of Guyana as a prime tourism destination.

Just yesterday, a contingent of 120 Surinamese tourists, comprising of Girl Scouts and visitors arrived in Guyana and will be occupied over the next few days as they participate in scheduled tours and additional cultural activities.Over the next week, those guests that arrived on the excursion organised by the Garage Tour Company of Suriname, will be experiencing the country’s rich cultural heritage; the many historical sites in Georgetown and the Essequibo Islands, the country’s flora and fauna, the exotic cuisines, along with the pulsating nighttime entertainment.

This particular tour company, owned and operated by Mr. V Prmnauth has been collaborating with the Ministry of Tourism and has been bringing over 40 visitors in Guyana on a weekly basis; given this reality and the success of past partnerships, Guyana’s Tourism Minister, Irfaan Ali has pledged to further cement this and other such relationships, to quadruple this amount by the end of the year.

With this aim in mind, the government has expanded its efforts to partner with even more Surinamese operators as they recognize that the lure of Destination Guyana is taking hold.

“We recognize that Surinamese continue to find Guyana an attractive tourism destination and we are working with even more partners to intensify the volume of traffic,” the Director of the Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA) Mr. Indranauth Haralsingh explained.

He further noted that even with an estimated 2000 Surinamese and Dutch Residents crossing our borders on a monthly  basis, packages and programmes are currently being designed, along with the private sector to, increase this already impressive figure.

He explained, “We are looking to attract an additional 500 tourists on a monthly basis; to accomplish this, we will capitalize and tailor our packages surrounding very popular and renowned events, including GuyExpo 2013, the Rockstone Fish Festival, Diwali and Motor Racing among others.”

With these events on the horizon, and the anticipated influx of visitors from around the world,   the GTA Director expressed the optimism that the benefits to be derived will be immeasurable not only for Guyana, but every Guyanese in terms of transportation, fuel, hotels, restaurants and generated sales.

The drive to support local businesses has been strengthened by the Tourism Minister’s pledge to work along with the small hotels in an effort to boost occupancy; already there have been reports of smaller establishments operating at full capacity.

Additionally, GTA is working closely with Suriname at the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organisation (ACTO) level and has established a tourism manual among Guyana, Suriname and Brazil to promote cross- border and multi -destination tourism.

Suriname is close to Guyana, and is a key partner and through ACTO, a Caribbean tourism trail of which Suriname and Brazil is a partner with Guyana has been established.

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