The Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA) has announced that Karanambu Lodge and Piraiba Lodge, both located in Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo), have been inspected and received conditional approval, thereby allowing them to reopen their passenger services.
This brings the total up to 13 tourism enterprises that have been given the green light to reopen, having been safely marked for travel.
GTA Director Carla James expressed her satisfaction at the constant pace that businesses have received their conditional approval, as it represents a rebound of COVID-19.
“Our team has been working in concert with these businesses to ensure they have all the necessary measures in place to safely reopen, and we will continue to monitor their adherence to all protocols identified as outlined by the Ministry of Health. 2020 redefined the landscape for travel, creating a new normal, and in 2021 with the advent of a vaccine, we will welcome the opportunity for travelers to visit safer Guyana, ”noted James.
James predicts that 2021 will be a year of tremendous growth for Guyana’s tourism sector as it prepares to bounce back significantly. Businesses that receive conditional approval are reminded to maintain the protocols as outlined by the Guyana Tourism Authority and the nationally listed security measures.
Failure to adhere to these measures will result in the conditional approval of COVID-19 measures being revoked. Domestic and international travelers are recommended to use only GTA-approved tourism businesses to book and plan their tour activities.
Other approved businesses include Rewa Eco-Lodge, Wanderlust Adventures, Baganara Island Resort, Hurakabra River Resort, Rock View Lodge, Waikin Ranch, Elite Kayaking and Nature Tours, Atta Rainforest Lodge, Iwokrama River Lodge, Sloth Island Nature Resort and Nature Resort Arrowpoint.
Guyana’s tourism industry has had its worst year yet, with the COVID-19 pandemic causing thousands of jobs, billions in revenue to the economy and zero commercial flights for several months. However, the Authority has several plans in place to facilitate a rebound in 2021, as businesses begin to reopen.
Negative impacts on the sector would have included a 98 per cent drop in arrivals due to airport closures, while 4600 employees were placed on the breadline – an average of 65 per cent of the total workforce. With businesses recording revenue 42 percent lower between March and September compared to 2019, the economy saw an overall loss of 38.2 billion from the sector.
With these obstacles, there were a few notable victories. This came in the form of a survey to determine impact, training for tourism operators and a hygiene and hygiene protocol implemented in businesses. It focused mainly on transportation protocols, cleanliness and general operation. Toolkits were distributed to indigenous tourism venues in the community. (G12)