Tourism and Hospitality Association of Guyana, by the Legal Gazette- Supplement B: Aug 31, 2020, encourages compliance with the issued order and reminds all of the restrictions on social activities and business operations.
Though the tourism industry, responsible for the direct employment of 22,000 persons, has been among the hardest hit of all sectors by the COVID-19 pandemic. Though we recognize that we are not alone, it must be emphasized that the tourism industry employs the largest numbers of women, youth, and those in the informal economy. These persons are the most at risk from the tourism sector and related job losses as well as business closures due to the pandemic. Most impacted have been ourCommunity-Based Tourism (CBT) Enterprises, strictly community-owned and managed that directly benefits every single village member through tourism-related activities- employment, education, medical assistance to name a few. In addition to the pre-COVID challenges of connectivity and accessibility, our CBT and micro small and medium-sized enterprises must now embrace these challenges in this new normal and reimagine ways and means of restarting their business.
United Nations warns that the tourism crisis is also a threat to wildlife conservation initiatives and the protection of the world's cultural heritage. The sudden fall in tourism revenues has cut off funding for biodiversity conservation. With livelihoods at risk in and around protected areas, cases of poaching and looting are expected to rise. With 90% of World Heritages Sites closed as a result of the pandemic, humanity's cultural heritage is at risk in all parts of the world.
To stem the spread of COVID 19, we are pleading with the members of the public and our service providers to follow the directives, maintain social distancing, wear your mask correctly and wash your hands or sanitize when not possible do so using an alcohol-based sanitizer. Avoid air-conditioned spaces using outdoor and spaces where the air flows freely.
All operators are reminded of the following:
COVID-19 pandemic epitomizes an opportunity to rethink the way we do busy, the future of the tourism sector, from all perspectives – socio-economic, cultural, the environment and conservation efforts and the technological innovations to take us forward.
Let us do our part to halt the spread of COVID 19, and embrace moving our industries beyond this pandemic. Commit to being educated onCOVID 19 and be informed on the steps needed to prepare your businesses for the reopening. Follow the guidelines that we can hope to see a reduction in numbers of COVID 19 cases and further the dialogue on the process of reopening that provides jobs to those laid off workers. Your compliance and your efforts send a positive message #WeAreALLinThisTogether.