Guyana awarded for fostering Indigenous tourism

Guyana has been awarded for its magnificent contributions made to the indigenous communities nationwide at the 4th edition of the World Travel Market (WTM) Latin America Responsible Tourism Awards.

The country secured silver place under the category ‘Best Initiatives for Indigenous Communities and or Traditional Communities.’

Director of the Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA), Kamrul Baksh speaking with the Department of Public Information (DPI)

In a recent interview with the Department of Public Information (DPI), Director of the Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA), Kamrul Baksh noted that over the years, the nation has been fostering many tourism initiatives led by the indigenous peoples.

Indigenous people of Guyana celebrating their rich heritage which is enjoyed by tourists when visiting the villages

“This was well-deserved because as you know Guyana is uniquely positioned as a country that promotes indigenous tourism that is led and owned. This means that the indigenous people own the land, the assets, the business, and control the profits,” the director explained.

He added that this type of indigenous tourism is a major differentiating factor compared to other community-based tourism models around the world.

Canoes built by members of an indigenous community that are used by tourists to tour the streams within the village

“One of our officers who is also an indigenous person went to Brazil to collect this award and also to make a presentation. We are really happy about this, because it shows our commitment to supporting communities and developing tourism in Guyana,” Baksh stated.

In Guyana, many tourism products and services can be found deep within indigenous communities due to the nature-like and relaxing environment like the pristine rivers and the fresh and heavy vegetation that surrounds these areas.

Additionally, with great tourism potential existing in many indigenous villages, the GTA plays a crucial role in helping the leaders and residents of the communities to further build upon what the village is already offering.

The authority oftentimes conducts its assessment of the talent and art of the people such as pottery and painting and see how it can make this into an activity for tourists when they visit the village, making their stay more enjoyable.

With the implementation of these activities, employment for the indigenous people will become available and foreign exchange will begin to circulate in the villages which will help to expand the newfound venture.

The government also plays a pivotal role in sustaining these products and services by funding them through various grants such as the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) funds and the Presidential Grants.

These grants help the villages to build guest houses, kitchens, and purchase vehicles to propel tourism within the area.

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