EMC’s Senior Environmental Officer, Shannon Stephenson, attended the Tour Guiding and Interpretation Training at the Iwokrama River Lodge from August 1 to 6, 2023. The one-week exercise aimed to familiarise participants with approaches to better understand tourists’ cultural backgrounds, personal expectations, and behaviours. It also focused on the importance of quality and safety while hosting tourists and ways to increase customer satisfaction and loyalty.
The training was conducted by Kenneth Shivdyal, Kenneth Butler, and Kieran Samuels, who emphasised the importance of training tour guides to influence tourists through quality service and knowledge. Representatives from the Guyana Tourism Authority, Protected Areas Commission, Guyana Marine Conservation Society, North Rupununi District Development Board, Environmental Management Consultants Inc., and Iwokrama International Centre for Rainforest Conservation and Development were among the fifteen participants in attendance.
“The growth of Guyana’s sustainable eco-tourism industry is one of Guyana’s primary objectives under the Low-Carbon Development Strategy. Tour guides have essential roles to play in the industry’s growth as the interface between visitors and their travel destinations,” said Ms. Stephenson. “Building their capacity can significantly improve service delivery and contribute to increased tourist traffic and tourism revenue in Guyana. This opportunity will further assist me in improving my skills to support the work we do at EMC.”