The Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Dr. Memunatu Pratt tasked with the responsibility of repositioning Sierra Leone’s image in the international stage and also reviving the tourism sector in creating jobs and contributing to sustainable revenue generation has received commendations from colleagues.
This is after her relentless effort to improve Sierra Leone’s image to the outside world has resulted in dramatic change and a positive perception regarding the hospitality sector globally.
The sector once clouded with negativity and ills of the past is now vibrantly participating in international trade fairs and global tourism conferences to showcase Sierra Leone’s tourism potential in the global market. Sierra Leone is now among the leading tourist destinations.
The hospitality sector is now in its best shape and also receiving government attention more than ever before. The Ministry hosted the Budapest-Bamako Finish line in Freetown in 2020, African Americans who traced their roots to Sierra Leone through African Ancestry have been granted citizenship, tourists’ arrivals to the country was on the increase before Covid, domestic tourism is on the increase and considerable efforts are been made by the Ministry in harnessing our touristic potentials especially in the provinces among many other activities undertaken by the Ministry.
What stands paramount of the Ministry’s activities for the past three years is their commendable efforts in harnessing the potential of touristic sites in the provinces.
Sierra Leone having beautiful beaches and wonderful parks and natural reserves including in the provinces had neglected these sites but with Madam Pratt’s appointment, these touristic sites have been identified, rebranded and marketed locally and internationally to the pleasure of His Excellency President Bio.
Sites such as Sulima beach in Pujehun and Tobanda beach in Bonthe district has been declared as a tourist destination with the Ministry training women and youth of Sulima on climate change and alternative livelihood. There is an ongoing construction of Eco-lodges in Chepo, Turtle Island in Bonthe District and also the first national park named Otamba Kilimi National Park have been given much attention.
The Ministry with support from UNDP provided entrepreneurship and business models skills training with start-up kits to women in Bonthe Island, Mattru Jong, Tobanda, Kabala, Pujehun and Kamakwie.
With increased support due to trust in the Minister’s leadership, it is safe to say the tourism sector is now a lucrative one with the current Tourism minister certainly repositioning the country’s image internationally but also ensuring that our tourism potentials especially in the provinces have been thoroughly tapped into.