Internationally recognised Guyanese personalities appointed Tourism Ambassadors
Guyana’s 2014 Tourism Awards ceremony heralded the official beginning of the Ambassador Programme , which saw popular Guyanese figures being appointed as Tourism Ambassadors for the country.
This initiative comes on the heels of the country’s rebranding exercise intended to reposition the destination as “Guyana – South America Undiscovered.”
As Ambassadors, those selected will act as the faces and Brand Ambassadors of the sector, both at home and abroad and will assist in promoting ‘Destination Guyana‘, thereby helping others to discover the very diverse, vibrant and exciting tourism product Guyana offers.
The country stands to reap tremendous benefits from the goodwill, accomplishments and popularity of the Ambassadors, who have all pledged their commitment to give back to the country; they include popular motor racing champion – Mr. Andrew King, founder/leader of the legendary Tradewinds Band – Mr. Dave Martins, Caribbean Squash Queen – Ms. Nicolette Fernandes, former Captain of the West Indies Cricket Team and champion batsman – Mr. Clive Lloyd, world renowned Guyanese cricketer – Mr. Shivnarine Chanderpaul, champion bodybuilder and former Mr. Universe – Mr. Hugh Ross and popular cricket commentator and sports administrator – Mr. Joseph ‘Reds’ Perreira.
Pointing to the high esteem to be placed on the chosen Ambassadors, Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, Irfaan Ali stressed on the need for Guyanese to be reminded of the importance of the sector in Guyana’s future.
“The growth of this sector cannot be achieved alone, we need partners in order to move forward,” Minister Ali stated.
Meanwhile the Director of the Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA) Indranauth Haralsingh explained that these individuals will undergo training, adding that some of them have already done so; they will also be required to attend tourism events and trade shows for and behalf of Guyana, where they will make presentations.
“They are all role models, leaders, they are all enthusiastic, popular, well networked, respected professionals in their own field; all with the ability to engage and motivate,” he stated.
The GTA Director further emphasised the need to mobilise all of Guyana to be good Ambassadors for “Guyana – South America Undiscovered“.
Additionally, the Tourism and Hospitality Association of Guyana (THAG) President, Shaun McGrath opined that the power of personality has proven to be most effective in any destination marketing strategy.
“Many countries have successful used their famous sons and daughters as tourism spokesman and Ambassadors with a mandate to promote the positives of their destination,” he said, highlighting cases such as Jamaica using athlete Usain Bolt; Australia using actor Paul “Crocodile Dundee” Hogan and South Korea using pop singer “Psy“.
“We are confident that the internationally recognised Guyanese personalities will take this new and important role to heart and know that they will produce significant results to the benefit of the country,” the THAG President said.
McGrath also underscoring the importance of every Guyanese being full-time Ambassadors for their country, noting that everyone has a role, whether directly or indirectly, to play in promoting the positives.
In brief remarks, Mr. Dave Martins underscored the need for a positive platform for the country against all the negatives.
“We need to have the platforms where people talk about the vibrancy of the people, the cuisines, the festivals, the fabulous interior. Those are the things that I believe these Ambassadors will be stressing and talking about… I’ve been doing that since I started Tradewinds,” the musician added.
Mr. Clive Lloyd mentioned that there are many exciting products that Guyana has to offer.
“I think there is so much that we have to give foreigners and I’m glad that we have so many of them here. I’m sure when they go into the interior; they will thoroughly enjoy what we have to offer because Guyana is still one of the most beautiful places in South America,” the cricket legend affirmed.
Eighteen (18) outstanding individuals were also awarded as the Tourism Ministry and the GTA recognised those who contributed to tourism management, administration, marketing and development in Guyana.
These activities come as the 20th Tourism Awareness Month is being observed under the theme “Tourism Entrepreneurs and Ambassadors Mobilised“.