Guyana and other countries of the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organisation (ACTO) have launched Destination Amazonia Year 2009 at World Travel Market (WTM) in London.
Guyana is being represented at WTM by Minister of Tourism, Manniram Prashad, and Executive Director of the Guyana Tourism Authority, Mr Indranauth Haralsingh.
Destination Amazonia Year is a collaborative initiative among the countries of the Amazon to raise the profile of the region as a tourism destination and attracting increased numbers of visitors next year and beyond.
One of Guyana’s main contributions would be the hosting of a beauty pageant that would bring delegates from Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela.
“Our aim is to introduce visitors to the incomparable nature tourism opportunities within Amazonia, currently experienced by just a tiny few of the huge numbers who visit our beaches and urban tourism centres.
“WTM is the perfect opportunity to start our outreach to international tourists, as not only will we reach the UK market but also buyers from countries all over the world,” said Donald Sinclair, Tourism Coordinator of ACTO. Sinclair is a former Executive Director of the Guyana Tourism Authority.
Encompassing the world’s largest standing rainforest, the Amazon region possesses incredible resources that are of great interest to travelers seeking off the beaten path experiences. Sensitive development of the tourism infrastructure of the Region will hopefully guarantee not just the survival of the unique flora and fauna and indigenous peoples, but also provide all-important income for local people to better their standards of living.
ACTO was founded in 2002 and has its headquarters in Brazil. Sinclair is attending WTM with two ACTO Tourism Consultant, Karola Tippmann, and Technical Advisor, Anna Willingshofer.
They are meeting with a number of travel providers and travel media to disseminate information about Destination Amazonia Year 2009. The eight member-countries of ACTO are working on new trails combining two or more countries in itineraries uninterrupted by country borders.
“The Amazon is a very precious region but the value of it is not appreciated worldwide. We have designated next year as ‘Destination Amazonia 2009’ to reintroduce the Amazon as a geo-destination to the world,” Sinclair said.
He added that the Amazon could sustain a far greater number of visitors than it currently receives. Brazil has the largest share of the Amazon yet only two per cent of visitors to Brazil visit the Amazon.
The trails to be developed and promoted include the Amazon-Andes-Pacific Trail, beginning in Acre in western Brazil and finishing in Cusco in Peru; and the Combined Amazon Tourism Trail, which begins in Suriname, passes through Guyana, and includes the two Brazilian states of Amapa and Para.
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