Guyana touted as new birding destination

Guyana has been recognised as a new birding destination and compared to some of the most famed areas for bird watching such as Peru and Costa Rica, Minister of Tourism Industry and Commerce Manniram Prashad has said.“Guyana recently participated in the World Travel Market (WTM) where we were recognised and compared to some of the most famous birding destinations…a lot of persons have demonstrated their interest in Guyana and we are glad to facilitate this because we see it as a sustainable adventure where little is invested,” Minister Prashad said.
From November 2 to 12, eight international tour operators who specialize in bird watching and a media representative of North American visited several bird watching locations including Georgetown where there are over 800 species, Mahaica River, Shanklands Rainforest Resort. Iwokrama Field station and canopy walk way, Karanambu Ranch, Kaieteur Falls, Wowetta Village and the Rockview Lodge.
        The Guyana Tourism Authority reported that they were wowed by what they saw.
        ‘Like a lot of Americans I didn’t know a lot about Guyana. After visiting all I can say is wow, what a wonderful place. To see such wide expanses of pristine, undisturbed habitat and to see so many spectacular birds thriving in that habitat was a great experience,” Mark Heddon of Caligo Ventures said.   

        ‘Guyana is a revelation, not just in the diversity of its habitat but in their purity… and it is no surprise that these habitats still harbour some of the most desirable birds in the Neotropics,” noted Rick Wright of the American Birding Association.
At present Guyana is hosting an international team travelling across the country to capture its natural scenic tourism potential which will be used for promotional purposes in the international market place. 
        “We are hosting a team of BBC journalists. They are filming different parts of Guyana, featuring different aspects of the country.”
        There are over 800 species of bird found in Guyana with over 200 species located in the capital city. The Tourism Ministry and the GTA have developed a three-year birding plan and will be working closely with the private sector for its implementation.

        Meanwhile another team that produces documentaries for airline companies was in Guyana to video Diwali observances, especially the motorcade.
The Ministry, the GTA and the private sector during November, designated Tourism Awareness Month staged several activities geared at presenting Guyana as the opportune environment for tourism development especially to the younger generation.  Among these was an overland tour to Kaieteur and bird tours for international operators.