The Guyana Tourism Authority has created and launched a digital Scientific, Academic, Volunteer, and Educational (SAVE) Travel Guide, a first for Guyana’s tourism product.
SAVE Travel is one of Guyana’s growing niche travel segments, which is traditionally complementary to conservation tourism – one of the key tourism pillars of Destination Guyana. SAVE travel by design connects responsible travelers, whether they are students, researchers or academics, with partnering tour operators and lodges to execute tailored trips focused on personal growth, scientific research, the betterment of society, and/or gaining knowledge or academic credit in Guyana’s rainforest and savannah regions.
The SAVE Travel Guide was developed to help formalize the Scientific, Academic, Volunteer, and Educational sector segments in Guyana and foster the development of increased SAVE travel experiences to Guyana’s lesser visited areas and to increase visitation to more popular tourism circuits during the traditionally ‘off peak’ or rainy seasons. This allows tourism revenues to be more evenly distributed geographically and throughout the year.
This guide aims to strengthen the relationship between researchers, partner institutions, SAVE travel hosts and program providers and raise awareness and market demand in Guyana’s key source markets – North America, the United Kingdom and Benelux Region, and German speaking markets.
Local organizations and lodges that benefit from these travelers include but are not limited to the Iwokrama International Centre for Rainforest Conservation and Development, Karanambu Lodge, Surama Eco-lodge and village, and Waikin Ranch.
Brian O’Shea, who holds a Ph.D. in Biological Sciences and currently from the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, was the lead author of the guide based on his extensive knowledge of this travel niche and personal SAVE travel experiences in Guyana.
“SAVE travel is driven by the desire to have close interaction with the nature, culture and people of a destination while advancing knowledge and contributing to the enhancement of the host country. I have long felt that Guyana has tremendous potential to develop strong mutualistic relationships in this realm and was honored to be a part of this project,” said Brian O’Shea.
The former and current Directors of the Guyana Tourism Authority shared similar sentiments as both would have been involved in helping to create this guide.
“Guyana is uniquely positioned to further tap into international research, study, and service programs that celebrate everything the country offers as a leading sustainable destination and helps to further expand the positive impacts of tourism in country,” said Brian T. Mullis, former Director of the GTA.
Carla James, current Director, goes on to say, “I am extremely proud of the strides Guyana has made in the recent years to be known as a destination that offers authentic nature, cultural and conservation-based tourism experiences that help to give back to the country. The SAVE Travel Guide will help to strengthen awareness of this product offering in this growing niche market.”
This guide comes at a time when the travel and tourism landscape is shifting in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many travelers are looking at visiting less crowded, nature-based destinations which focuses on the development and conservation of nature and wildlife. The SAVE Travel Guide will help to further strengthen this narrative and can be used as a key tool for travelers planning their 2021 research, study and service trips.