Keeping tourism revenues in the destinations in which they’re generated is one of the fundamental goals of sustainable tourism. When tourism is well managed, it enables locals the opportunity to maintain or elevate their quality of life without jeopardizing the natural and cultural treasures that draw visitors there in the first place. The money that comes into a community-owned and operated tourism enterprise stays within that indigenous village, providing economic benefits to the entire community. From the guides and the cooks to the drivers and support staff, all employees are members of the local community. Best of all, your hosts want to share their culture and show off the iconic wildlife that live in - the ecosystems they’ve been stewards of for millennia. Your visit provides an incentive to protect wildlife habitat and preserve traditional culture. It provides travellers with the chance to enhance their experience and knowledge by connecting with and learning from the locals. This is just one of the many ways tourism is a force for good in the world today.
More and more I've been reading about problems with overcrowding at tourist destinations. While it's great that more people have the means and desires to travel, they don't all have to go to the same places. There are plenty of other magical places to visit in the world, and plenty of them are in South America. Instead of following friends to places they have been, why not go to some great places first and have the others follow you?
Two weeks ago, me and a group of agents and marketing reps from the U.S. and Canada toured Guyana, as guests of the Guyana Tourism Authority. I had talked with one of the tour operators about Guyana for years and finally got to experience first-hand what he had been telling me about.
To me, it seemed like such an exciting mix for those looking for something different. The country promotes it's amazing wildlife and Kaieteur Falls (the highest single drop waterfall in the world), but it offers much more than that. When you visit the interior, it's like visiting a frontier territory - a vast land, largely untouched, except for the natives and a few foreigners who came to carve out a life, as you can see from the video below.
Jim has been an agent for over 20 years and has specialized in South America for much of that time