To better help the Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA) develop and improve the country’s tourist attractions, a new digital system was launched on Tuesday to track the movement of local and international visitors to the various tourist spots here.
Considered the first of its kind ever launched in the Caribbean, the new Visitor Exit Motivation Survey (VEMS) will be monitored by the Guyana National Bureau of Standards (GNBS).
But how exactly does it work? VEMS connects to the free Wi-Fi service at airports on departure, visitors are invited to complete a questionnaire.
From the data provided, the GTA and the Bureau would be able to monitor popular tourist sites frequented by visitors; the amount of foreign currency spent throughout tours and receiving feedback on what can be done to improve existing tourist sites.
A similar system was in place previously, but has proven to be a tedious task, according to GNBS chief statistician Ian Manifold.
“… but here we are today, with a digitized format instead of having to conduct in-person interviews, so we’ve come a long way,” Manifold told those gathered at the launch that took place. held at Eugene F. Correia International Airport in Ogle, on the Demerara east coast.
Guyana Tourism Authority Director (ag) Kamrul Baksh spoke about the importance of VEMS as an essential data capture tool.
He said it would help the GTA better welcome visitors – local and international – and improve Guyana’s existing tourist attractions to create new ones.
âIn our industry, information is absolutely essential and essential to what we do,â Baksh explained.
âWe need the information to be able to plan programs and policies. We need to understand what visitors see and how much they are spending.
âWe want to use that information so that we can then know where we are investing resources. We want to know so that we can plan training programs for stakeholders. We want to know where we should find what channels we should use. We want to use this information to be able to develop Destination Guyana, âexplained Baksh.
Tourism, Industry and Trade Minister Oneidge Waldron announced in a subsequent press release that VEMS will be introduced at Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) by 2022.
The Minister noted that visitors’ comments are an essential element in helping to push âDestination Guyaneâ further.
âArmed with this data, we can assimilate it and aggregate it into information. Then we can dive into it to discern the trends and finally, it would be up to the political decision-makers to use their knowledge and their experienceâ¦ this objective â, declared the Minister of Tourism.
Guyana continues to grow as a destination of choice for travelers. In 2018, Guyana recorded a total number of visitor arrivals of 286,732 passengers, the highest on record.
And the RGT has worked to raise the profile of Destination Guyane through increased product development and niche marketing.