Guyana prepares for Britons

By | Category: Travel destinations

Kaieteur Falls – Guyana. Image – Guyana Tourism Authority

As the world becomes more confident about the pandemic being controlled, more and more nations are developing marketing plans for when travel opens up again.

This May it will be 55 years since independence from the UK yet even with strong historic links, not that many Britons holiday in Guyana each year. Part of that could be due to the fact that it takes about 17 hours to fly there and that there are no direct flights. British Airways and Virgin provide connecting services via American airports as do most American airlines.

The attraction of the country has been in eco-tourism with the rainforests and the Kaieteur Falls being the main lures. Even in the rainforests there are just eleven lodges and resorts that have been accredited by the government under the Safe to Travel rules that have been introduced to determine COVID-19 safety rules.

Social distancing is not a problem in the forests, you’ll be hard pressed to see people other than those on your tour.

Generally tourism is under-developed compared to many of its Caribbean and South American neighbours. Until a few years ago there were comparatively few hotels and visitor numbers were low. Even before the pandemic, and after a steep rise in the number, fewer than 300,000 people visited the country.

But with an economy growing largely due to oil and gas, there is a greater interest in the country and to a demand for hotels. Just last weekend the ground was turned for the building of a new 101 room boutique hotel called Aiden in the capital, George Town. A second Marriott hotel is due to open in the capital in about a year and other international chains are casting their economic eyes over the country.

The Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA) has launched a world-wide marketing messaging, “Safe to Travel”, after ensuring that tourism and travel organisations were operating within COVID-19 safety measures that the government had introduced.

At the same time it is seeking a representative organisation to handle marketing for the country in the UK and some nearby countries, the closing date being later this month so marketing will recommence in the UK probably in time for a winter sun holidays.

Before tourism escalates as soon as we can travel again look seriously at holidaying Guyana. You’ll find a largely unexplored country, an eco-tourism that is much less developed than in neighbouring countries and a birdlife that puts to shame those birds you have seen in your back garden during lockdown.

You don’t need a visa but, like most countries at the moment, a negative PCR test is required which has been carried out in the 72 hours before arrival. This may alter so check the Guyana tourism website for changes.

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