Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, Oneidge Walrond is advising tourists to ensure that their tours and tour operators secure the approval of the Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA) before proceeding to travel. Her warning comes in wake of news confirming that a traveler has gone missing in the Rupununi, Region nine.
Waldron reminded that a list of approved operators can be found on the website of the Ministry of Tourism Industry and Commerce (https://mintic.gov.gy/agency/guyana-tourism-authority/) and the Guyana Tourism Authority’s Facebook page.
Tours which are unregulated and not approved by the Authority many times do not have the necessary safety systems and protocols in place.
In October, 43-year-old Gladstone Hayne, an overseas-based Guyanese drowned while visiting the Orinduik Falls in the North Pakaraimas. Waldron indicated that subsequent to that unfortunate event, the Government commenced a searching inquiry, in which the operations of all stakeholders, including the relevant authorities will be examined.
A key feature of this review is a consultation with tour operators and related regulatory agencies, scheduled for December 13. The discussion is aimed at developing Standard Operating Procedures and emergency measures for all tours.
The Minister added that pending the completion of the review, the Tourism and Hospitality Association of Guyana, the Private Sector Commission and other private sector bodies are urged to join the call for persons to only use operators and facilities that are approved by the GTA.