Two nature resort tour operators in Guyana and Suriname formally inked an agreement Thursday night to take advantage of joint marketing and other facilities.
The two destinations are Arrowpoint-located close to the Amerindian community of Santa Mission a few miles west of the Demerara River- and Kabalebo Nature Resort located on the Kabalebo River in the western region of Suriname, and 150 miles from the nearest road or village.
“This venture is unique in the sense that what we are bringing to the table in fact is what the rest of the Caribbean can only imagine and fantasize about,” said Gerry Gouveia Chief Executive Officer of Roraima Group of Companies which runs Arrowpoint.
The new deal, he said, would bring Dutch and English languages, and Amerindian and Maroon cultures into “one package.”
“While these products might be similar, they are different and they complement each other like nothing else in the Caribbean could come even closer to doing,” he said.
While making a pitch for Guyana to spend at least US$1 million on marketing Guyana annually, Gouveia was confident that Arrowpoint and Kabalebo would “sell our two countries like never before.”
Roraima will be offering a full package of airport to hotel transfers and visits to Kaieteur Falls and Arrowpoint, kayaking and jungle-biking in the night.
Owner of the Suriname-based Kabalebo Nature Resort, Karel Dawson highlighted that the two neighbouring South American countries have a lot in common. “Indeed, we have a lot of things in common as two countries. There shouldn’t be any water dividing us or border dividing us, there should be a bridge uniting us.”
Despite an outstanding land border dispute, the two countries enjoy cordial diplomatic relations and their peoples have good business relations.
Dawson said there was no need for the two resorts to fight for market-share. “We have a lot of things in common. We don’t have to fight for our market. We can share and make it grow and try to build on it,” he said.
The Surinamese businessman, who credited his country’s government with supporting the tourism industry, intends to put his network in The Netherlands (Holland) at the disposal of Roraima Group of Companies.
Tourism Minister, Irfan Ali noted that GUY$32 billion have been spent so far on improving and expanding existing nature resorts as well as constructing new ones on the Essequibo Islands of Wakenaam and Leguan.
Reacting to Gouveia’s call for a US$1 million annual marketing blitz, the minister said no money could pay for Hollywood’s likely following of a world rated Portuguese stuntman who plans to glide up and down the 741 feet tall Kaieteur Falls in September. “We cannot announce the names so far but I can tell you some big names from Hollywood might be and would be following that event and this is the type of exposure that a million US would never be able to give you,” he said.
Guyana was featured in Fortune 500 Magazine and has been listed among the top 25 destinations in a Guide to Latin America.