Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, Hon. Oneidge Walrond, cut the ribbon on Saturday (May 1), to officially launch one of Guyana’s latest tourism initiatives—Ride Along GY. The company will offer customers the opportunity to explore historical sites, nature trails, and cultures from the perch of a pedal cycle while on guided tours and excursions. In extending congratulations to the principals of the company, Minister Walrond noted that the initiative is innovative, timely, and exhibits the type of ingenuity and fresh thinking needed from our businesspeople.
She told the audience that subject to observation of the safety protocols in place for the pandemic, the ministry continues to promote domestic tourism, and when international travel fully reopens, the ministry will also target visitors from the diaspora who want to reconnect with their heritage and experience the transformational changes taking place in our country. “An essential component of this tourism thrust must be the type of activities and experiences visitors will have when they journey to the various destinations across Guyana. As such, the Guyana Tourism Authority has been working with communities and individuals to develop experiential products,” Minister Walrond noted.
Pointing out that Georgetown remains a prime tourism destination, Minister Walrond noted that the launch of Ride Along GY, adds another quality activity to the experiential line-up available in the capital. The minister stressed that a key focus is to encourage greater interconnectivity of our tourism products, citing possible links between hotels, resorts, and independent companies such as Ride Along GY as an option for recreational activity. Minister Walrond added that in the context of the COVID pandemic, activities such as those offered by Ride-Along reflect the advantages of Guyana’s tourism product which features small groups in wide-open spaces. “These characteristics, coupled with the extensive training the GTA provides to stakeholders, allow us to sustain certain tourism operations in the midst of the pandemic,” she posited.
Minister Walrond expressed satisfaction that Ride Along GY successfully launched a business based on funding she received from the Small Business Bureau. The company was the recipient of a $1 million grant through the Green Tech Fund facilitated by the ministry. “Today’s launch gives me great joy because it was not too long ago that the ministry handed over a cheque to this business as part of the Green Tech Fund initiative, and today we are seeing the idea realised. This, ladies and gentlemen, is how we envisage the fund working,” she said.
CEO of Ride Along Gy, Cherry-Ann Greene, said Ride Along GY was birthed from a desire to bring to Guyana’s tourism a new service that will expand the options of both locals and tourists to explore the history, culture and natural beauty of the country. She expressed gratitude to the Small Business Bureau for making the much-needed funds available. “The Small Business Bureau opened a huge door to a path which enabled a dream to be made into reality. Today the dream has manifested, and I will be forever thankful to the Bureau,” the CEO stressed.
The bicycles all have GPS trackers as a security mechanism for customers. Ride Along GY has received a ‘Safe for Travel’ status from the GTA.