Remarks as prepared
Ambassador Sarah Ann Lynch
World Tourism Day Reception
October 10, 2019
Good evening everyone, and thank you, Seth (Seth Hershberger was the Embassy’s Community Liaison Coordinator and MC for the evening), for the kind introduction. And, thank you to you, Seth, Latchmi Seetahal and Andrea Stephenson – the team of three from the Embassy – who planned this lovely evening for all of us, as well as the Guyana Tourism Authority and Conservation International, Guyana for their work on this evening’s events.
So, good evening again, and thank you all for being here to commemorate Word Tourism Day – which, by the way, was Friday, September 27th – so, we are a bit late in our celebration. But, we didn’t think you would mind because we have a wonderful program for you tonight as the U.S. Embassy turns its focus this evening to Tourism in the “land of many waters” – a land in which we are privileged to be living.
With Guyana’s diverse habitat, from the savannahs to the forested highlands to the low-level coastal areas, opportunities for tourism abound in Guyana. As I increase the rhythm of my own travels in Guyana, I am constantly struck by the dramatic scenery and abundant wildlife. From the stunning waterfalls at Kaieteur to the tremendous waters of the Demerara and Essequibo Rivers to the black water creeks, the waters certainly are many. And, from the golden rocket frog and the cock-of-the-rock to the Scarlet Ibis and the Giant River Otter AND, my new personal favorite, the two-toed Sloth (!), the wildlife is plentiful, too! There are seemingly endless possibilities for adventure and travel throughout this magical country. As such, the tourism industry has great potential in Guyana and is filled with opportunities for all types of tourists, including the most adventurous of travelers, but there are also significant challenges that accompany this growing sector. And, tonight, you will hear about BOTH the opportunities AND the challenges related to tourism in Guyana.
It is my great honor to host this event and to bring together leaders from the tourism and hospitality industries, as well as our partners in the wider business community, NGOs and fellow diplomats. We asked you all here because the U.S. Embassy recognizes the growing importance of this industry’s contributions to Guyana’s future, and we are eager to support all of your efforts to realize the potential that tourism offers.
But, I am not going to speak very long tonight. Rather, I’m going to have you hear from distinguished representatives from the conservation and tourism sectors and those industry leaders who are focused on ensuring good stewardship and preservation of Guyana’s natural wealth and beauty. I hope you will gain new knowledge from their presentations, and that you will find opportunities to collaborate or partner with those you meet this evening.
In a few minutes, you will hear from Greg Mullis from the Guyana Tourism Authority and Damian Fernandes from Conservation International Guyana who will share their vision of sustainable landscapes and conservation tourism in Guyana. It is my distinct honor to welcome these gentleman, and all of you, tonight as we continue to celebrate World Tourism Day.
Please enjoy the evening! Seth – back to you…..