With Guyana being placed on top of the list of tourism destinations at the recent ITB travel fair, where it was the country voted as “Best in Ecotourism”, the country will soon see many adventurers seeking to explore its pristine waterways and exotic rainforest.This was the position shared by the Director-General of Tourism, Donald Sinclair, on Monday evening during a celebrative ceremony to highlight the country’s achievements at the recent travel fair in Berlin, Germany.(From left to right) Amerindian People’s Affairs Minister Sydney Allicock with GTA DirectorBrian Mullis; Director-General of Tourism, Donald Sinclair; and Business Minister Dominic GaskinHaving competed against countries such as Mexico, Cambodia and Ecuador, which are leading the way in the tourism sector, Guyana won the newly introduced category by featuring the Surama and Rewa eco-lodges and other local attractions.Sinclair said that being in this position indicates that there must be careful actions in the future to ensure that there are no breaches in the best practices while ensuring that the expectations of tourists are fulfilled.“Our award as number one ecotourism destination will generate a spike in nature travel to Guyana. Many committed eco-travellers, (upon) learning that the number one eco-tourism destination is on the north-eastern shoulder of South America, will be moving to our websites, [and] some will be making bookings to travel. It is not in our interest to disappoint them,” Sinclair cautioned.He added, “We must view this award not only as a prize and accolade, but also as a call to action. There must be sustained action to ensure that we do not find ourselves in breach of ecotourism principles and best practices.”Meanwhile, Director of the Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA), Brian Mullis, was inclined to the booming oil and gas industry, noting that the country should adapt to changes by modernising its economy.“Guyana has a legacy of support for its rich biodiversity through environmental policy, sustainable forestry, and establishment of a national system for protected areas. With the recent discovery of our vast oil and gas reserves, we are now at that critical point in our history. We have an opportunity to shift our development path, modernise our economy, and positively transform the lives of all Guyanese,” he declared.He also said there is room for improvement, and mentioned a few challenges with which the country is faced, primarily in the areas of energy efficiency, sustainable mining, and waste management.The GTA Director mentioned, “We have to continue to market and advance our efforts to remain one of the best. We have recognised that there is room for improvement in areas like renewable energy and energy efficiency in our lodging sector, waste management across the country, managing the wildlife trade, and adopting alternative mining practices.”Business Minister Dominic Gaskin has insisted that Guyana needs to build on these achievements by promoting and protecting the natural resources.Guyana has also recently become the first country to adopt the Adventure Travel Trade Association’s International Adventure Travel Guide Qualification and Performance Standards.President of the Green Destinations Foundation, Albert Salman, said Guyana was placed as the best ecotourism destination because of its low-carbon resilient programme, economic opportunities, individual equality, justice, and political empowerment.