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Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs meet with Tourism Stakeholders

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In its continuous strides to put Sierra Leone tourism on good footing, the Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Affairs and The National Tourism Board had the first stakeholders meeting for the tourism sector, at the Ministry of tourism conference room. This meeting was called to abreast the private sector partners on developments and approaches for the development of the sector.

The Deputy Director of Tourism called the meeting to order, while the Permanent Secretary chaired the meeting, highlighting the purpose of the gathering, at the end he introduced the newly appointed Acting General  Manager- for National Tourist Board. He further explained that the new direction has a lot to do in terms of sectoral reform, he said that could be possible if the private sector can give their fullest support to the ministry, national tourist board and the government.

The newly appointed Acting General Manager Madam Fatmata, stated the relevance of the private sector to Sierra Leone’s tourism. That its high time they should be onboard and follow correct practices and law abiding especially with tourism codes of ethics that will once list Sierra Leone as tourist destination.

The Director of Tourism Mr. Mohamed Jalloh, first thanked the participants for showing up. He further said the call for the meeting is in Continuation to the new direction using Tourism to diversify the economy, he drew the attentions of the audience that Tourism is a pivot tool, to revive the sector to reach key bench marks in total development in the tourism sector. This he assured the audience has a better and stronger multiplier effects on economies and families direct and as well indirect benefits, so the Director encouraged the owners of establishment to stay up with payments.

Mr. Sylvanus Nyandemor, Roy hotel made his concerns as investor:  they are up to task in payments of taxes but their problems with electricity and water facilities is poor, and this cry has been long, but they now hope the new minister will spare head these challenges once and for all. He concluded by raising his strong points on the alarming fees of EPA on hotels, should be looked into for further deliberation on Clarification of these fees especially the consultancy fees.

Mr. James Marka congratulated the new Minister and the acting General Manager, he advised the Minister to pay attention on robust marketing to attract the new markets and maintain old ones.  He ended up pinned pointing on Destination cost to be looked into if we are considering a quick change.

Madam Isha Bangura a seasoned developer, throw lights on beach ambiance especially with structures and hygiene that are not keeping up with measures, but she called on the Minister to step up with correct code of practices, to monitor these structures to follow the rules.

The Acting General Manager au-fait the participants, that with the correct leadership and vision she implored them to hold firm and be collaborative in ensuring they work and walk on smooth path.

The Minister of Tourism Dr. Memunatu B.Pratt and the Acting General Manager National Tourism Board Madam Fatmata called on all tourism stakeholders these includes: Hotels, Restaurants, Bars, Casinos and similar related establishments countrywide at the Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Affairs Kingharman Road Freetown. The meeting with these key stakeholders, centers around the way forward as in encouraging them the Acting General Manager built the foundation for the meeting, stating out the role of the private sector and the Government taking the right approach in addressing the challenges in the tourism sector.

Finally,   the Minister said that the lack of sector governance, is a real challenge poised, but this time she assured that the road map is clear and robust actions with line ministries on visas, ticketing, environment, water and sanitation, electricity and others will soon be earnest. But in doing these responsibilities she called on owners to pay dues, which will serve as engine to fast tract the above issues, the Minister emphasized that defaulters must comply within 14 working days ultimatum which ends on the on the 5th of July 2018.

African Tourism Ministers Stress the Importance of Correct Tourism Measurement for Improved Policy

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‘Tourism Statistics: A Catalyst for Development’, was the theme of this year’s seminar in the context of the 61st Meeting of the UNWTO Commission for Africa (Abuja, Nigeria, 4-6 June). The meeting included a ministerial dialogue on the importance of tourism statistics under the topic “Better measure, better manage.

The Commission for Africa attracted 18 tourism ministers from the region and key tourism stakeholders from 36 countries. Participants underscored how tourism projects ca

n contribute to poverty alleviation, the importance of finding innovative approaches to developing tourism in the region, and the need to find and foster new partnerships and resources to develop the sector.

Against the backdrop of the growth of international tourism in Africa, tourism’s overall economic impact needs to be measured accurately in order for tourism strategies to effectively contribute to national economies. The ministerial dialogue addressed the significance of collecting and compiling quantitative and qualitative data, as well as the importance of commitments from national stakeholders and institutional partnerships for a rigorous tourism statistics system.

“The priorities of my mandate have been formed by listening to the needs of our member states and include the crucial targets of creating more and better tourism jobs, improving tourism education and fostering innovation”, said UNWTO Secretary-General, Zurab Pololikashvili. “We need to build tight links between public and private sectors for tourism to transform growth across the continent, and for the benefit of its people”, he added.

The meeting was attended by the President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, who stated that “Nigeria has great potentials for tourism and investment”, underscoring the relevance of the sector, both regarding its contribution to sustainable development and its role to further diversify the economy and inc

rease social resilience.

In this context, the need for establishing a Statistical Framework for the Measurement of Sustainable Tourism (MST) was addressed. This Framework includes environmental, social and cultural tourism components geared towards achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The next African Commission meeting will take place during the second quarter of 2019.

BRITISH COUNCIL COLLABORATES WITH TOURISM MINISTRY

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In a bid to strengthen and promote the Tourism sector in Sierra Leone, Mr. Simon Ingram-Hill, British Council Country Director visited the Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs,Dr. Memunatu B. Pratt on June 12th, 2018.

In his remarks, Mr. Simon disclosed that the essence of his visit is to positively collaborate with the Tourism Ministry for the development of the Tourism sector in Sierra Leone.
“We believe that the exchange of Artists and fixing of festivals is a way of sending out messages to the UK and at the same time promoting young Artisans from Sierra Leone”
He furtherd that there was not much of Artisans products in Sierra Leone due to the then Ebola outbreak.

In her statement, the Minister of Tourism, Dr. Pratt said she has identified that Art, Culture and Theatre are very weak in Higher Education;adding that they were working to develope University linkages between the University of Sierra Leone, Njala University and including other accredited universities to establish a very good school in Culture and Arts that would add to the skeleton which they have had in Sierra Leone.

“Creative Arts is dying in schools;we therefore want to put attention in Arts and crafts in schools,” the Minister asserted.

She furtherd that Education must be placed at the center of the Tourism industry in Sierra Leone;adding that the current generation do not know much about the history of Sierra Leone.

In attedance of the meeting were the Deputy Minister of Tourism, Mr. Illawin Robinson; Mr. Michael Dennis, Programme Manager British Council,Tower Hill in Freetown.

©MEDIA AND COMMUNICATIONS TEAM.
MTCA.

NEW BAI BUREH PORTRAIT UNVEILED

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The Hon. Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs in collaboration with Sierra Leone National Museum and Gary Schulze, an African-American on the 25th May, 2018 unveiled the mural of the great Bai Bureh, one of the illustrious hero of the Hut Tax War of 1898 at the National Museum along Siaka Stevens Street in Freetown.

Mr. Foday Jalloh, Director of Cultural Affairs, served as Chairman of the occasion. In his address, he recalled the historical importance Of Gary Schulze, a Hon. Paramount Chief of Kagboro Chiefdom, on our cultural history.

Mr. Mohamed Jalloh, Director of Tourism in his address maintained that there is need to have more of such attractions for tourists to see; adding that Sierra Leone heritage is not just on Trans-atlantic Slave Trade but also an historical and cultural heritage.

Gary Schulze recalled that a British man once took Bai Bureh’s photo and that very photo has become the new Bai Bureh. He commended Mr. Bangura who drew the portrait of this great hero.

The Hon. Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Madam Memunatu B. Pratt thanked Gary on behalf of His Excellency Julius Maada Bio for his keen interest in digging into the history of Sierra Leone.
“We need more Garys in Sierra Leone to champion our cultural history,” the Hon. Minister confirmed. She explained that Bai Bureh signifies a symbol of the first resistance to colonialism.

Meanwhile, Dr. Adonis Abboud, the Serbian Consul, who doubles as the Proprietor of Trans -national Sierra Leone, reiterated that Tourism is the future for Sierra Leone’s economic development.

The Curator of The Sierra Leone National Museum, Madam Josephine Kargbo gave the vote of thanks.

BY: MEDIA AND COMMUNICATIONS TEAM.
MINISTRY OF TOURISM AND CULTURAL AFFAIRS

TOURISM MINISTER VISITS MUDSLIDE SITE AT REGENT

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The Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Dr. Memunatu B. Pratt visited the mudslide site at Regent on Friday May 18th, 2018.

The essence of the visit was to observe the present situation in the site after almost two years and with the aim of transforming the mudslide site into a memorial site which will serve as a touristic attraction and also as a place to provide a space for those who lost their relatives during the August 14th 2017 mudslide disaster.

She stated that the visit was also to know how they would be able to explore the possibilities of planting trees through UNOPS at the site.

‘’The site is very important in our history because after the war we were unable to develop a memorial place and we want to promote a touristic attraction area by establishing a park and a memorial site for people to visit’’ the Tourism Minister said. She mentioned that in Rwanda there is a genocide museum where people and tourists can visit to reflect on the ethnic war that led to the mass killing of people in that country.

‘’When you visit New York they will take you to the site where the 9-11 incident took place’’, the Tourism Minister said.

According to the Minister of Tourism, His Excellency ,the President Rtd Brigadier Julius Maada Bio is very much concern that they should be able to transform and translate the site not only as a touristic area but also as a place where people can go and pay homage and respect to the dead.

She added that a prevention Disaster Agency Committee has been set up to work collectively in a bid to proffer solutions to further prevent the reoccurrence of the mudslide disaster at Regent. The minister also disclosed that they are going to embark on a community engagement and sensitization with the people who are still living within Regent for them to relocate to safe areas as climate change has a very huge impact that is unpredictable. She thanked DFID and the World Bank for their support and aid towards their effort of transforming their aspirations for the development of the said site.

In attendance of the visit at the Regent mudslide site were Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs Dr.Memunatu Pratt, the Chief Minister Prof. David Francis ,Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security Mr. Joseph Ndanema, the Minister of Lands and Country Planning Dr. Dennis Sandy, Environmental Protection Unit (EPA) Madam Jatu Jalloh, UNOPS Representatives, World Bank Representatives, National Association of Certified Tourists Guilds, The Media Units and some representatives of the Regent Community.

The Minister of Lands and Country planning, Dr. Dennis Sandy, said that they wanted the mudslide site to be a dedicated area where people will come and visit in remembrance of their lost families. Dr. Dennis Sandy disclosed that on Monday they will organize a meeting at State House in a bid to map out the way forward to prevent the reoccurrence of such a disaster in the future. He maintained that they were focusing on the issue of mitigating the disaster. ‘’Our visit has sent a message that our government cares’’ Dr. Sandy stated.