Locals encouraged to take Eco-tourism seriously in

With an increase of attractions being surfaced and an influx of tourists coming into the country, locals living within the popular tourism destinations across Guyana are urged to take the cleanliness of their environment seriously.

This call was made by agencies of the Ministry of Tourism Industry and Commerce and private tour operators during a clean-up exercise along the Essequibo River on Friday.

Members of the Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA), Tourism and Hospitality Association of Guyana (THAG), and Old Forts Tour who conducted the cleanup along the Essequibo River

The exercise saw the Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA), the Tourism and Hospitality Association of Guyana (THAG), and a local tour operator known as Old Forts Tour collaborating to clean the environments of Fort Island, Baracara Falls, and the golden Bartica Beach in commemoration of World Earth Day 2024.

Volunteers from the team cleaning up at the Baganara Falls in Region Seven

World Earth Day will be celebrated on Monday under the theme ‘Planet Vs Plastic.’

Speaking with the Department of Public Information (DPI) at Fort Island, Director of GTA, Kamrul Baksh noted that it is important to sensitise the locals on the role eco-tourism plays in the country and anti-littering.

A volunteer from Bartica receiving her appreciation certificate from THAG’s Marketing Coordinator, Beyonce Atkinson

“The reason for this of course is, one, to demonstrate our commitment to keeping our surroundings clean. Such exercises demonstrated here today by the government and private operators is a catalyst for behavioural change in Guyana,” Baksh posited.  

The Director stressed that with Guyana being a competitive tourism destination then the act of dumping garbage must be addressed “head-on.”

A member of GTA helping to clean the environment at Fort Island

GTA recently conducted an internal stakeholder consultation to address littering and an action plan has since been formulated. The plan includes the clean-up exercise and the placement of bumper stickers across the country among other initiatives.

Additionally, THAG’s Marketing Coordinator, Beyonce Atkinson said it is critical for Guyana, being the fastest-growing economy in the world, to be portrayed in the right way to tourists.

“We hope to inspire others to join in the clean-up campaign and not only that but to keep the areas clean. We have our tourists coming in and what we showcase here is what is portrayed to them,” the young woman stressed.

Meanwhile, Senior Captain and Operations Manager of Old Forts Tour, Vincent Latchman told the DPI that the reason the exercise was conducted at the mentioned locations is due to them being the most popular areas where tourists visit.

“If they [the residents] in the area can see that we are trying to keep Guyana clean then I am hoping that from this initiative, they can follow in our footsteps and try to do the same,” Latchman asserted.

A number of other clean-up exercises will be conducted by other government agencies and private tour operators throughout the month at various tourism destinations.

Those who volunteered from the different agencies were also presented with certificates of appreciation for their invaluable support in building a sustainable tourism community.

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