Thursday, 27 April 2017

SURINAME: Suriname Tourism Foundation Partnering With George Washington University On Tourism

The Suriname Tourism Foundation (STF) is partnering with students from the George Washington University to conduct a market analysis case study on tourism. The study will focus on analysis of penetrating the North American market and the feasibility of engaging with United States outbound tourism operators

“We are very excited to be working with the student consulting team from GWU,” said Jerry A-Kum, STF director.

“We have a strong interest in diversifying our current tourism market, and we feel that a shift to the United States could be the most promising strategy. We look forward to seeing the results of the study.”

The collaborative research study will include students from the masters of business administration and masters of tourism administration programs at The George Washington University School of Business in Washington, DC.

Students from the International Business Marketing course taught by visiting research fellow, Professor Dr Maria Elo of Finland, are conducting a market analysis study that will examine the potential of US outbound tourism demand to Suriname.

The consulting student team, comprised of Imad Boucekkine, Aman Birbo, Daniel Dozier and Amber Messersmith, will conduct primary and secondary research on the tourism product currently being offered in Suriname as well and market analysis, culminating in a case study presentation with key findings and recommendations.

In-depth market analysis surveys will be used to collect data from tour operators in both Suriname and the United States to better understand market gaps and provide key stakeholders the insights necessary to forge the partnership that will best contribute to the sustainable growth of the Suriname tourism industry.

Results will be made available to the STF in early May for wider distribution to the country’s tourism industry.

The STF was founded in 1996 by the ministry of transport, communication and tourism and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The foundation was the first formal momentum for the cooperation between the government and the tourism industry with the objective of optimizing the tourism potential of Suriname and to contribute effectively to the country’s national economy.

Director of Suriname Tourism Foundation (STF) Jerry A-Kum shared few achievements as well as current and future plans of his organization for improving the tourism product of his native Suriname and the Guianas.

STF is the official tourism body of Suriname representing the country nationally, internationally and regionally.

The purpose of the organization is to promote, develop and brand Suriname as an appealing tourist destination and to develop activities in marketing and promotion, product development, education and information. Jerry believes that these goals can be achieved by consultation with both the public and private stakeholders.

Jerry said that there are ongoing discussions for a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Suriname, Guyana and French Guiana for developing and marketing the Guiana Shield as one. Jerry along with Suriname’s minister of transportation and tourism, Andojo Rusland, have had meetings with Guyanese and French officials to finish off the MOU which is expected to be signed soon.

In September 2016, Guyana’s minister of business, Dominic Gaskin, met with Rusland to discuss matters relating to the promotion of tourism in the Guianas and to address the removal of obstacles restricting hassle-free travel between the two countries.

Jerry A-Kum has brought together many stakeholders in the tourism industry, and is forming cooperation with them all. STF has signed MOUs with the Suriname Bureau of Statics, Conservation International, the General Bureau of Statistics, and the United Tour Guides of Suriname. In addition, STF has a close working relationship with the Central Bank and the Airport Authorities of Suriname.