Guyana anticipates 350,000 visitors in 2024 amid rapid tourism growth

Guyana is poised to welcome 350,000 visitors in 2024, reflecting a significant increase in its tourism sector.

According to the Guyana Tourism Authority’s (GTA) Tourism Statistical Digest 2023, the country’s tourism industry has rebounded from the pandemic and surpassed its pre-pandemic visitor numbers.

Guyana anticipates 350,000 visitors in 2024 amid rapid tourism growth

Director of the Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA) Kamrul Baksh highlighted in the report that international tourism reached 88 per cent of its pre-pandemic levels, with global arrivals nearing 1.3 billion, as noted by the UNWTO World Tourism Barometer of 2023.

Baksh projected a full recovery of international tourism by 2024, driven by factors including pent-up demand, expanded air connectivity, and a strong resurgence in Asian markets.

“Guyana’s tourism industry is part of this global trend, which can be attributed mainly to the support received from both the private and public sectors,” Baksh stated.  

In 2023, Guyana saw an 11 per cent increase in visitors compared to 2022, with a total of 319,147 tourists, marking an addition of 4,420 arrivals.

Visitor numbers from January to April 2024 have shown a 12.4 per cent increase over the same period in 2023, accounting for 112,751 visitors.

The projection for 2024 is 350,000 visitors, bolstered by the addition of 595 new hotel rooms and major calendar events such as the Rupununi Rodeo, Mashramani, and Cricket Carnival.

Other contributors to the anticipated growth include ongoing oil production, increased marketing efforts, product development, and major conferences.

The trend is expected to continue in the coming years with more hotels being completed and a robust lineup of events, significantly expanding the country’s accommodation capacity.

The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) noted that in 2023, Guyana’s tourism industry supported over 18,000 jobs.

Kayaking at the Blue Lakes

Visitor demographics reveal that the majority of arrivals in 2023 came from the United States (47 per cent), followed by the Caribbean (27 per cent), Canada (nine per cent), Europe (six per cent), and South/Central America (six per cent).

Notably, 45 per cent (144,307) of these arrivals were diaspora visitors, while 55 per cent (174,840) were non-diaspora tourists, predominantly from the Caribbean and the United States.

Leisure travel was the main purpose for visits, accounting for 69 per cent (220,549) of total arrivals, followed by business travel at 17 per cent (53,377).

“I am confident that we are on the right path to achieving remarkable success with support from all key stakeholders, including the Government of Guyana through the Ministry of Tourism, Industry and Commerce. Guyana is on an undeniable path to greatness,” the GTA director stated.

The last year’s edition of the Tourism Statistical Digest provides essential tourism information and statistics to stakeholders, guiding policy decisions, marketing strategies, product development, and investment opportunities.

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