Tourism in Guyana

Last updated

Tourism in Guyana is a fledgling industry compared to other countries in the Caribbean. Tourism is mainly focused on ecotourism, and accommodations for business travelers. [1] Guyana is home to Kaieteur Falls and St. George's Cathedral.


In 2020,18 businesses and 12 tour guides were licensed with the Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA). [2]

International tourism

Mark Ellwood, contributing editor for Conde Nast Traveler, has suggested thinking of Guyana "as a bonus Caribbean country" in terms of its cultural history even though it is physically part of South America. [3]

Natural heritage

The primary draw for tourists from abroad is Guyana's Amazon Rainforest, considered one of the most pristine, untouched forests in the world. [4] Core markets are visitors from North America and the UK (also home to a large Guyanese diaspora) and some interest from markets like Germany and the Netherlands. [5] Guyana is South America's only English-speaking country. The GTA benchmarks its practices against the Green Destinations Standard, a Global Sustainable Tourism Council-recognized set of objective criteria for "measuring, monitoring and improving the sustainability policy in light of the growing interest in sustainable tourism". [6] Sustainable tourism is a key factor in hinterland development, offering economic diversity to the area, through Amerindian villages, such as lodges at Rewa and Surama, [7] and the Iwokrama International Centre for Rain Forest Conservation and Development. Tourism is seen as a way to provide employment in these remote communities, combatting the high migration rate out of these villages. [8]

Eco-tourism activities include birdwatching [9] [10] and catch and release fishing. [11]

Sector growth

The oil industry, and its potential wealth boom, has encouraged development in the tourism industry, such as the building of a second Marriott Hotel slated for completion in 2023. [12] COVID-19 severely damaged the economies of the tourism-dependent Caribbean countries, but Guyana, like Trinidad and Tobago, continues to grow due to oil production. [13]

In 2018, tourism made up 0.58 percent of Guyana's GDP (world average: 7.87). [14]

Number of arrivals [15]


After Independence, Guyana's national policies were focused on self-reliance; President Burnham called the tourism industry "parasitic" and detrimental to social development, in contrast to its Caribbean neighbors. [16]

Infrastructure woes and perception of Guyana as a dangerous location damage tourism to and within the country. Recent focus has on improving safety standards, the visitor experience and enabling all tourism businesses to become licensed. [6]

Domestic tourism

Because of the diversity of Guyana, cultural events are an important source of tourism in the country. [17] Guyana Restaurant Week started in 2014 to attract new customers with reasonably-priced set menus. [18]


See also

Related Research Articles

Ecotourism Tourism visiting natural environments

Ecotourism is catering for tourists wishing to experience the natural environment without damaging it or disturbing its habitats. It is a form of tourism involving responsible travel to natural areas, conserving the environment, and improving the well-being of the local people. Its purpose may be to educate the traveler, to provide funds for ecological conservation, to directly benefit the economic development and political empowerment of local communities, or to foster respect for different cultures and for human rights. Since the 1980s, ecotourism has been considered a critical endeavor by environmentalists, so that future generations may experience destinations relatively untouched by human intervention. Several university programs use this description as the working definition of ecotourism.

Regions of Guyana

Guyana is divided into 10 Regions:

Ituni Town in the interior of Guyana

Ituni is a village in the interior of Guyana, at an altitude of 100 metres (331 feet). The area grew as a result of bauxite mining in the area.

Apoteri Village in Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo, Guyana

Apoteri is a village in the Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo Region of Guyana, near the confluence of the Rupununi River with the Essequibo, at an altitude of 53 metres. Apoteri started to develop as the centre of the balatá industry. The population is mainly Amerindian of the Macushi and Wapishana people.

Sustainable tourism Form of travel without damage to nature or cultural area

Sustainable tourism is the tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment and host communities. Tourism can involve primary transportation to the general location, local transportation, accommodations, entertainment, recreation, nourishment and shopping. It can be related to travel for leisure, business and what is called VFR. There is now broad consensus that tourism development should be sustainable.

Aishalton Amerindian Village in Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo, Guyana

Aishalton is an Amerindian village that is situated in the Rupununi savannah of southern Guyana, in the Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo Region of the country.

The Iwokrama International Centre for Rain Forest Conservation and Development is an autonomous non-profit institution established by Guyana and the Commonwealth. It "exists to promote the conservation and the sustainable and equitable use of tropical rain forests in a manner that leads to lasting ecological, economic, and social benefits to the people of Guyana and to the world in general, by undertaking research, training, and the development and dissemination of technologies".

Demerara Distillers

Demerara Distillers Ltd. is a Guyanan distillery known for the El Dorado Rum brand. It was at one time the world's second largest producer of rum.

Tourism in Costa Rica

Tourism in Costa Rica has been one of the fastest growing economic sectors of the country and by 1995 became the largest foreign exchange earner. Since 1999, tourism has earned more foreign exchange than bananas, pineapples and coffee exports combined. The tourism boom began in 1987, with the number of visitors up from 329,000 in 1988, through 1.03 million in 1999, over 2 million in 2008, to a historical record of 2.66 million foreign visitors in 2015. In 2012, tourism contributed with 12.5% of the country's GDP and it was responsible for 11.7% of direct and indirect employment. In 2009, tourism attracted 17% of foreign direct investment inflows, and 13% in average between 2000 and 2009. In 2010, the tourism industry was responsible for 21.2% of foreign exchange generated by all exports. According to a 2007 report by ECLAC, tourism contributed to a reduction in poverty of 3% in the country.

Peanut production in Guyana plays an important role in some areas of the country. In the remote Rupununi region of Guyana, peanut farming dominates the local economy and farmers depend upon the crop as their main source of income. Recent agricultural developments have enhanced production from 1,100 pounds per acre to over 2,500 in four years. As a result of increasing yields Guyanese farmers have not only benefited from local markets in Guyana but have increasingly seen the export of Guyanese peanuts in the Caribbean market.

The Burro-Burro River is a river of Guyana.

The North Rupununi District in located in south-west Guyana consisting of a mixture of forest, savannah and wetlands ecosystems and is considered one of the most diverse areas in South America. Located on the eastern margin of the larger savannah system which extends into Brazil and is separated by the Ireng and Takutu rivers that come together to form the Rio Branco. The Guyana Rupununi system is divided into the North and South Rupununi by the Kanuku Mountains.

Surama Amerindian village in Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo, Guyana

Surama is an Amerindian village in the North Rupununi area and the Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo Region of Guyana, with a population of 274 people as of 2012.

Kurupukari Place in Upper Demerara-Berbice, Guyana

Fairview (Kurupukari) is an indigenous settlement on the Essequibo River, in the Upper Demerara-Berbice region of Guyana. It is the entry point to the Iwokrama Forest. Former president David A. Granger once referred to Iwokrama as the "green heart of Guyana."

Irfaan Ali President of Guyana

Mohamed Irfaan Ali is a Guyanese politician who is the President of Guyana since August 2020. Ali is the first Muslim President of Guyana and the first Muslim head of state in South America, along with being the second Muslim head of state in the Western Hemisphere after Noor Hassanali.

Sydney Allicock Guyanese politician

Sydney Allicock is minister of Indigenous People's Affairs in Guyana, and was vice-president of Guyana from 2015-2020.

Rewa, Guyana village in Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo, Guyana

Rewa is an Amerindian village in the Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo region of Guyana.

Yupukari Village in Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo, Guyana

Yupukari is an indigenous village of Macushi and Wapishana Amerindians in the Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo Region of Guyana. It is located between the Kanuku and Pakaraima Mountains along the Rupununi River.

The Carnegie School of Home Economics (CSHE) is a service-sector trade school in Guyana.

Karaudarnau Village in Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo, Guyana

Karaudarnau is an indigenous village of Wapishana Amerindians in the Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo Region of Guyana. It is located in the Rupununi savannah on the Rupununi River.


  1. "Stays by oil workers provide lifeline to struggling hotels". Stabroek News. 2020-04-25. Retrieved 2021-01-17.
  2. "Marketing local tourism businesses major focus for 2021". News Room Guyana. 2020-12-31. Retrieved 2021-01-17.
  3. "Top travel destinations for 2020: Santa Fe, Nashville, more". 2020-01-03. Retrieved 2021-01-17.
  4. "Guyana - The World Factbook". Retrieved 2021-01-17.
  5. Editors, C. N. T. "20 Best Places to Go in 2020". Condé Nast Traveler. Retrieved 2021-01-17.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  6. 1 2 "Guyana claims 'Best of Ecotourism' top spot at world's leading travel, trade show in Berlin". Stabroek News. 2019-03-08. Retrieved 2021-01-17.
  7. "'We want to keep our forest': why Guyana's wilderness needs visitors". the Guardian. 2019-10-27. Retrieved 2021-01-17.
  8. "Reflections on the North Rupununi Cluster". Stabroek News. 2015-09-11. Retrieved 2021-01-17.
  9. "Guyana on par with world class bird watching destinations". Stabroek News. 2008-03-29. Retrieved 2021-01-17.
  10. "International tour operator 'encouraged' by local birding programme". Stabroek News. 2007-03-23. Retrieved 2021-01-17.
  11. "Draft law completed for catch-and-release fishing in North Rupununi". Stabroek News. 2016-05-31. Retrieved 2021-01-17.
  12. "Marriott Is Opening Another Hotel in Guyana Caribbean Journal". Caribbean Journal. 2020-02-17. Retrieved 2021-01-17.
  13. October 09; Marin, 2020 Author: Denise. "Global Finance Magazine - The Old Days Aren't Coming Back". Global Finance Magazine. Retrieved 2021-01-17.
  14. "Guyana International tourism revenue, percent of GDP - data, chart". Retrieved 2021-01-17.
  15. "International tourism, number of arrivals - Guyana | Data". Retrieved 2021-01-17.
  16. Meislin, Richard J.; Times, Special To the New York (1982-10-03). "GUYANA'S ECONOMY IN A SEVERE CRISIS (Published 1982)". The New York Times. ISSN   0362-4331 . Retrieved 2021-02-17.
  17. Chabrol, Denis (2019-12-06). "Too much rum-drinking at regional festivals -Tourism Director-General". Demerara Waves Online News- Guyana. Retrieved 2021-01-17.
  18. "18 restaurants signed on to Restaurant Week". Guyana Chronicle. Retrieved 2021-01-17.
  19. "Duke Lodge, Atta Rainforest Lodge, Old Fort Tours win tourism awards". Stabroek News. 2018-06-20. Retrieved 2021-01-17.
  20. "Carnegie reopens Hibiscus Training Restaurant". Stabroek News. 2020-01-24. Retrieved 2021-01-17.