Team here to shoot documentary for History Channel
History Channel cast and team at the Cheddi Jagan Airport – Guyana. Center is acting Minister of Tourism, Hon. Irfaan Ali
A TEAM of international explorers/cast members working for the television History Channel arrived in Guyana yesterday to work on an eight-part documentary series which will highlight the pristine beauty of this country’s natural resources. [Acting Tourism Minister Irfaan Ali with the President of New Rivers Holding Guyana Incorporated, Tim Evans, at left, and supervising producer Scott Madden.] This initiative is expected to be of unprecedented benefit to the local tourism sector and pave the way for the creation of more international markets in the area of eco-tourism. Taken from Guyana Chronicle ( Wednesday, 25 January 2012 23:40 )The History Channel was made aware of Guyana’s rich resources through New Rivers Holding Guyana Incorporated, an organisation that has, over the years, been searching for areas of exploration to promote eco-tourism locally.
Acting Tourism Minister, Mr. Irfaan Ali, briefing the media at theCheddi Jagan International Airport yesterday morning, said the project is one that is welcomed without hesitation, as it is seen as a further boost to the country’s economy.
“Guyana is poised to be the next great international destination to be discovered for eco-tourism as well. As you are aware, Guyana is becoming increasingly an exciting adventure, in terms of eco-tourism and, in terms of explorative tourism and that is as a result of the different packages that we offer,” he said.
Ali lauded the venture and noted that this is the first time Guyana was able to attract foreign interest at such a high level.
At the same time, the Minister said the project is timely, since, Guyana is at a stage when strategies are being implemented to advance the tourism and marketing sector.
“We have been advertising our brand as the Amazon Adventure and we are very delighted that we were able to attract this level of foreign interest in Guyana, at this time in the tourism sector when we are seeking to advance our marketing, seeking to broaden our focus and bring in people for various purposes,” Ali said.
He pointed out that the History Channel has a very wide reach internationally, especially in The United States and is consistently seeking new areas of exploration.
Ali said Guyana has the ability to provide the exploration team with what is needed to be successful throughout the undertaking and assistance will also be given if there is a need at any time.
“The U.S. market is one that is consistently looking for a different product, a product that rekindles them with nature, a product that gives them more adventure…Guyana has that ability. Guyana has more camping grounds… we have resorts. This is one of the only markets in this Caribbean area that you can go to and have various camping grounds,” he stated.
Ali said Guyana boasts many expensive markets, especially in the Essequibo region, that are undiscovered by the very people here in Guyana. “These are very expensive markets if you have 10, 15 episodes from the History Channel it would be good.”
“Only last year, we had CBS and we had an excellent review from that and this is what we need,” he remarked.
Additionally, the Minister said this fits nicely into the country’s sustainable tourism project and he hopes it would allow for the expansion of relationships to have other such entities in Guyana.
“It gives us that free conference type of marketing and we are hoping that, after this episode by the History Channel, we can continue expanding the relationship and bring other such entities in Guyana so that we could promote this very unique product of ours,”
With regard to international exposure, the Minister said this opportunity is an excellent one that will see Guyana moving to higher heights through the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS), too.
“This is going to be an excellent opportunity. It means our tourism sector would grow and expand and create opportunities and we will have wider access to a larger market and that, by itself, is very interesting especially since Guyana is already known as one of the leading countries in terms of environmental protection,” he observed.
He said the LCDS is now global and is being discussed in many parts of the world.
“It’s a strategy that is being discussed at many parts of the academic world, talk shows across the world dealing with the environment, so in itself it is a tourism product and we have that product. The issue is how do we, as fast as possible, promote this product in all the markets and make it known and this is an opportunity for us in promoting that product,” Ali said.
President of New Rivers Holding Guyana Incorporated, Mr. Tim Evans said his company has been working in this country for almost five years now to find eco-tourism destinations and has been successful.
“We have found a lot of beautiful things for eco-tourism and natural history programmes, so we have been passing this information on to the History Channel and other networks and they are starting to take a big interest in Guyana,” he revealed.
Evans said their focus is to showcase Guyana and they are going to be travelling around looking at all the beautiful things Guyana has to offer and will need help.
He said the eight episodes to be filmed on the History Channel, later this year, will take about six weeks to shoot.
Evans said other countries with a lot less square miles of rainforest have been over explored and over commercialised and they have lost their true feel.
“There’s more in Guyana and this is going to put this country on the map and create brand recognition in the U.S. travel markets that will carry Guyana forward,” he asserted.
Evans said, once the filming is successful, it will be something that will be going on for years to come.
“This is one of the things in this country that will help carry it and promote its tourism in the world and there are many people out there waiting to be introduced to the next tourism destination and I think it’s this,” he declared.
Supervising Producer for the series, Mr. Scott Madden said most of the time here will be spent in the interior.
He said the exploration will be conducted by seven eyes new to Guyana, so that they can deliver a fresh perspective of what there is to offer.
“We are the History Channel so what we care about is not only Guyana today but how Guyana has been in the historical nature of its presence here in the world,” Madden said.
He said the crew is positive that the task ahead will be a successful one and is hoping to take home the prize of accomplishing what they are here to do although there may be a few challenges.
Madden acknowledged that making an adventure documentary is a very arduous task but said the crew he has is world class and works will be conducted in a timely manner to try and complete the project before year end.
“We will be running really fast. One thing that we are delighted to be a part of is the sustainable nature of all the industries that are in the world and Guyana is the leader right now and we are going to help the world recognise that.”