A four man delegation from the Africa Travel Association visiting Sierra Leone has expressed their commitment and determination to promote Sierra Leone’s tourism industry world wide.
The delegation made these remarks at a dinner organized in their honour at the Solar Hotel Aberdeen village in Freetown by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture in collaboration with the Tourist Board and Ministry of Trade and Industry.
The Vice President of Africa Travel Association, Doreen Wooten from the USA said Sierra Leone has enormous tourism potentials that when developed will attract tourists from all over the world.
She said the association is determined to promote travel in Africa and that they are working closely with the Africa Union and the World Travel Organization (WTO) to make a change in Africa ‘s travel.
She also explained that Sierra Leone has a lot of ancestral ties with the rest of the World that can be explored for partnership. She encouraged stakeholders to improve on the transport system and hotel management.
Giving a brief background of the Africa Travel Association the General Manager of the Sierra Leone Tourist Board, Cecil J Williams expressed thanks and appreciation to the visiting delegation for their on the spot visit to Sierra Leone. He assured the delegation of their commitment to working with partners to attract potential investors and tourist’s adding that a team of Journalists from the United Kingdom is also in the country. Cecil J Williams encouraged visitors to market the tourism industry around the world. The Minister of Tourism and Culture, Hindolo Sumanguru Trye commended the Tourist Board for their relentless efforts in promoting the tourism industry and encouraged visitors and tour operators to also promote domestic tourism in Sierra Leone.
The Minister spoke about plans to transform Mammy Yoko Hotel to a five star hotel and called on private sector involvement adding that there is a need to improve the airport and other basic infrastructures to attract tourists.
Patricia Brown a tour operator at 10 Howe Street who had participated in the Africa Travel Association conference held recently in the Gambia expressed optimism for the development of the tourism industry. She however called on the government to improve on facilities and to also reduce air port taxes to attract visitors. She also said that Gambia Tourism is far developed than Sierra Leone and encouraged to identify tourism sites for future developments.