Tour operators offer three-countries package

Guyana Chronicle
By Stacey Davidson
April 9, 1999

SHELL Beach Adventures and Surinamese businessman, Mr Wilfred Baldew have commenced a joint partnership to take tourists to destinations in French Guiana, Suriname and Guyana.

Tourists will be transported via `Le Grand Baldew' - a service operated by Baldew.

Tours will commence by boat from all the countries - in Guyana, aboard the Rosignol Ferry; in Suriname, on the Canawaima; and in French Guiana, from St. Laurent.

At the launching at Main Street Plaza, Georgetown yesterday, Managing Director of Shell Beach Adventures, Ms Anette Arjoon explained that Guyana can benefit tremendously from the venture since tourists who visit French Guiana and Suriname would also have the opportunity to visit Guyana, which would be included in the tour package.

She added that the main aim is to exploit Guyana's tourism potential and increase the flow of foreign tourists here.

Baldew, Managing Director of `Le Grand Baldew' which operates luxury and semi-luxury buses in Suriname, noted that the idea is a very good one and would become very successful since Guyana has enormous tourism potential which is not fully marketed.

With the introduction of the project, he said tourists from all over the world who visit the other two countries would be able to come to Guyana and encourage others to do likewise.

Baldew added that the programme is an opportunity to utilise his company's "long experience and extend its services to Guyana."

The businessman stressed that there is need for improved services at the local Immigration office, so that tourists would not have to wait long hours, and a more efficient transportation service on the Rosignol and Canawaima ferries.

He noted that if these services are not improved, foreign visitors would be deterred.

Baldew also said `Le Grand Baldew' is working on an appropriate tour programme to offer the residents of the countries and tourists, which will include a trip to Guyana's famous Kaieteur Falls.

Other proposed tours to Guyana will include Rupununi ranches, nature resorts, Orinduik Falls, horse-back riding, bird watching, cultural tours, fishing and golf.

In French Guiana, from Albina, tourists will be taken to the space museum in Kourou, where depending on the weather, one may witness the launching of the Ariane satellite.

Other visits will be made to the famous Isles de Salut, the Royal, and Joseph and Devil's Islands. Upon arrival at Joseph Island, tourists will be taken on a luxury boat and in Cayenne, have the choice of visiting the Montjoly beach or going on a city tour.

A minimum of ten persons is allowed on this tour, which leaves Paramaribo on Thursdays and returns on Sundays. Tourists will be accompanied by a French tour guide in Cayenne.

In Suriname, the transport of tourists will be effected only with the Airco coach from the Johan Adolf Pengel Airport at Zanderil. This is to ensure a much higher level of service, Baldew noted.

The air-conditioned buses are fully equipped with television, VCRs, radios, reclining and armrest seats and refrigerators.

`Le Grand Baldew' maintains a direct bus service every Friday to Cayenne, which is also available on any other day of the week from 07.00 hrs from Paramaribo.

The Georgetown-Kaieteur Falls tour will be operated every Thursday to Sunday and goes via Nickerie, the western border between Suriname and Guyana.

Special Projects Officer in the Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Industry, Ms Margo Boyce noted that the joint venture underscores the emphasis being placed by Government on tourism.

"With the introduction of the ferry service, Guyana and Suriname both stand to benefit from the framework that currently exists, inordinate possibilities abound which ought to be optimally tapped and exploited," she remarked.

According to her, the launching represents the commencement of joint efforts between the Surinamese and Guyanese entrepreneurs "with an unprecedented intensity."

"Government, as facilitator, is most privileged to play such a vital role, the ultimate return on which can only be positive and destined to improve the living standards of our populace, vis-a-vis, employment opportunities, cultural interaction, an enhanced environment and the marketing of Guyana as a premier destination", Boyce remarked.