A new ecological tour and hotel suite was launched on Friday February 3 in Georgetown by Kanuku hotel. The launch took place at the back of Kanuku hotel. But the eco tour and suite, Kanuku Tours Eco Lodge Resort, is located in Apoteri, in the hinterland of Region 9 in the heart of the country’s rainforest and riverain area. It is located some 400 miles up the Essequibo River and deep-south within the Amazon on some 500 acres of land, which were allotted to Kanuku Tours by the government of Guyana.
The accommodation and tour offers a unique experience for eco tourists; foreigners visited the area over the last several years. Now, they will be welcomed by a resort. Arrangements are made for flights from Georgetown to the resort.
The opening and launch in Georgetown, the ribbon cutting ceremony, was done by Speaker of the National Assembly, Manzoor Nadir, who represented President Dr. Irfaan Ali. The President was to personally open the resort but was called away at the last minute for another function.
In his remarks, Nadir quoted from President’ Ali’s prepared text, noting that tourism is one of the growth poles of the economy and a key element of the government’s plans for economic diversification. Nadir related on behalf of President Ali that Guyana has a potentially peerless tourism product.
“The range, the mix and the scale of our tourism offerings is unmatched by most of the countries of the Caribbean,” he read from the President’s prepared speech.
The President, through nadir, said that one of the most exciting frontiers for eco-tourism development is Region Nine, Guyana’s largest region. “The area has diverse ecosystems from rivers, savannahs, rainforests, mountain ranges, and endemic biodiversity. … In fact, all regions of Guyana have the potential to expand the number of eco-tourism products. And this is what makes Guyana truly unique in the Caribbean”.
Nadir said that Region Nine has already begun to emerge as a major hotspot for sustainable tourism and it has already become a front-runner for community-based tourism, which allows for community participation and the sharing of benefits in tourism.
Nadir praised the development of an eco-lodge. He read: “The development of eco-lodges requires what I would like to refer to as ‘ecological entrepreneurs’, persons and firm who understand the country’s wide array of natural attractions and assets and who have the vision, knowledge and access to capital to convert these into profitable and sustainable tourism products”.
Nadir also related from the President that the government is moving to establish a hospitality institute and to provide training for thousands of workers in the sector.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Kanuku Suites, Mr Geer Meghan, who is the brainchild behind the eco-tourism project, said that his company is currently on tailoring tours for locals because they have been doing it for the last eight years and have hosted National Geographic, BBC, Animal Planet and more. The lodge was constructed at the cost of US$200,000 but work is ongoing. The final cost is expected to reach US $500K.
He stated: “Now that we have the oil and gas sector here, I think definitely it would be a good fit in a couple months from now, but we are putting it together”.
He said the lodge to house guests or visitors is 80 feet by 30 feet and has eight double suites, double rooms, and huts, where tourists can view jaguars and other endangered species.
He noted that “guides have are very trained and as such there is no danger to safety of the visitors”.