© WWF-Guianas

BACKGROUND

Tourism is one of the economic sectors in the Guianas that is most affected by the current pandemic. When we finally return to normal, the industry must be rebuilt. The unique natural richness of the countries has been attracting tourists for decades. However, what is the outlook in a post Covid-19 era? Can nature conservation and tourism go hand in hand when tourists will travel to the Guianas again? How can Suriname and Guyana can raise their profile internationally? And what can tourism contribute to the economies, without affecting biodiversity?

In Guianas' Green Economy Conversation, the future of tourism in the Guianas will be explored. The webinar is organized by WWF-Guianas together with SHATA, the Surinamese Hospitality and Tourism Association. The format of webinar will see presentations from the three speakers and a questions and answers segment where attendees will get an opportunity to post questions or comments.

The speakers include: Sherida Mormon, director of METS Tours & Travel and Rabin Boeddha, director of Tourism with the Ministry of Transport, Communication and Tourism, both from Suriname and Carla James, director of the Guyana Tourism Authority. The conversation will be moderated by Kurt Holle, who is the current director of WWF-Peru and former owner of a tour operator business before he started a career in nature conservation.

Truly the Guianas can be a Beacon of Hope for the World.

© Fabian Vas/WWF-Guianas

Why a Conversation?


From pre-independence through to the present period, we are yet to make use of our potential. With successive changes in government we experience shifts in policy and plans which don’t always build on what was good, and fix what was unsustainable.

Our business sector is small and vulnerable to changes in policies and is limited by the enabling services. Civil society is narrowly active around some issues, but its organization is susceptible to politics and business interest. And academia suffers immensely from lack of resources and continual brain drain.

The Guianas Green Economy Conversation is meant to help break down those things that divide us and build connections outside of our traditional relationships. The speakers explore new pathways and it is geared to develop sustainable approaches to our challenges in a fair and democratic manner.

Meet the Speakers

The speakers include: Sherida Mormon, director of METS Tours & Travel and Rabin Boeddha, director of Tourism with the Ministry of Transport, Communication and Tourism, both from Suriname and Carla James, director of the Guyana Tourism Authority. The conversation will be moderated by Kurt Holle, who is the current director of WWF-Peru and former owner of a tour operator business before he started a career in nature conservation.

© Pete Oxford
©: Sherida Mormon

Sherida Mormon

Director - METS Tours and Travel

Sherida Mormon is a development economist by training at the Anton de Kom University of Suriname. With more than 15 years of work experience in Suriname she has developed specific expertise in business development in the tourism and agriculture sector. As a consultant I conducted socio-economic and value chain analyses, develop strategic plans and strengthening cooperatives and communities are also part of her work. She is member of the Union of Economist Suriname and co-founder of the Suriname heritage festival. An annual event focused on the diversity of nature and cultural heritage of Suriname. Since 2019 she serves as director of METS Travel and Tours.

©: Caribbean Tourism Organization

Carla James

Director - Guyana Tourism Authority

Carla James, who is originates from a remote Indigenous Community called Kamarang in Region 7, Guyana, has over 15 years’ experience in the Travel and Tourism Industry. Ms. James, whose educational background is Computer Science, began her professional career as a Research Assistant at the Ministry of Tourism, Industry and Commerce in 2001. In 2017, Ms. James was appointed the Deputy Director of the Guyana Tourism Authority and is responsible for Training, Licensing, Operations and Finance. Recently, she also co-developed the 2018-2025 Living Guyana Tourism Strategic Action Plan, which is already delivering results to have Guyana recognised as a leading sustainable tourism destination globally. Then in 2020, she became the first indigenous woman to assume the role of Director of the Guyana Tourism Authority.

©: Rabin Boeddha

Rabin Boeddha

Director of Tourism - Ministry of Transport, Communication & Tourism, Suriname

Rabin Boeddha, a Surinamese with twenty-two years of experience in tourism policy & development, lecturer in (International) Tourism Management at IBW private University and several tertiary schools, project developer and managing several tourism projects in the urban and the suburban areas as well as in the interior together with international, regional, local organizations, NGO’s and CBO’s. He is highly experienced in organizing and conducting (tourism) training and awareness programs in all parts of Suriname, especially the interior. His contribution and involvement in several Tourism Development programs. His involvement as a consultant/trainer in tourism development activities implemented by the WWF, CI, STINASU, NCD, NIMOS, etc. indicates his role as a good team player and knowledge and experience of nature conservation, environmental issues and biodiversity. Currently he is the director/PS for tourism at the Ministry of Transport Communication and Tourism.