Category: Articles

Bonthe and Turtles Islands signal hopes for Sierra Leone Tourism Development

By Kai B. Saquee

The Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Affairs and its Agencies have embarked on massive touristic sites identification and diagnosis, as Bonthe and Turtle Islands signal hopes for the tourism sector.

Therefore, as the effort multiplies in positioning Sierra Leone as a set and ready destination, more tourism attractions within the country has been unveiled and identified by the Ministry of Tourism and Cultural, The National Tourist Board and the Monuments and Relics Commission. During the four days feasibility and tourism assets identification, the advance team that was comprised of officials from Ministry of Tourism, National Tourist Board, Monuments and Relics with a heavy of presence of AYV and SLBC camera men and journalists to cover every discovery for both heritage natural tourism assets unveiled, this is to serve a coherent prove, that indeed Sierra Leone is a Green Gem that is yet untapped.

Turtle Island is made of seven different beautiful Islands, garnished with white sands and the tallest palm trees, which overlooks the beaches on every Island you go. The receptions from York, Victoria, Mania, Cheapoh and beyond sent a clear readiness and high hospitality of the locals that this time tourism must revive. With the already available cleaned beaches and nice people, it is now the call of the government to take the right steps as they have begun to do.

The Minister of Tourism and cultural Affairs Madam Memunatu B. Pratt on the very Saturday launched the official cleaning exercise on the Islands. This initiative was a laudable one and it was accepted by the communities and elders of the various Islands.

Sierra Leone’s Bonthe and Turtle Islands sent a clear signal of hopes that Sierra Leone could compete and be positioned as a destination that could stand out for international Leisure, sport, Yacht, canoeing, diving activities, which has the tendencies of shifting the tourist supply chains downward and sending the demand curve upwards to Sierra Leone, if only these Identified Islands and Bonthe Island are given special priorities.

Bonthe and Turtle Islands are indeed haven on earth, with beautiful sands bars, clear water channels, rare birds and special migratory birds are found the shores of these Islands. Interestingly Islands within the Archipelagos could be used for honeymooners, special events, Lovers Island and many more.

With these potentials, the Ministry and its agencies have placed hands on deck to ensure these beauty is not hidden but showcase to tourists and tourist generating regions respectively. These hopes will materialised if the right structures like proper water transportation is well handle with Private, Public Partnership approach as such investments are capital intensive.

 

Marketing and Publicity Assistant Officer

National Tourist Board

+232 77 34 78 10

+232 78 64 95 19

TOURISM MINISTER TAKES SALONE INTERNATIONALLY

 

By Mohammed Sankoh

 

The Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Dr. Memunatu Pratt, has taken Sierra Leone internationally by embarking on a serious marketing and building confidence with investors and tour operators at this year”s International French Market IFTM Top Resa Exhibition 2018 held at Port-De Versailles- Paris from the 25th -28th September.

The Minister who was accompanied by officials from the ministry of Tourism, National Tourist Board , Monument and Relics Commission and Miss Sierra Leone, Sarah Laura Tucker, helps to more attention attraction for Sierra Leone”s tourism sector, which has inspired some top French travel writers to show interest in visiting the country.

In view of her determination to transform tourism, Dr. Pratt interacted with many top business tourism magnates, while networking, business innovations, and keeping tourists abreast about potentials in the Sierra Leone tourism market formed part of her activities during the Exhibition.

Dr. Pratt was of the form convection that Sierra Leone”s participation in the exhibition would lead to the start of a great business investment in tourism and travelling sector respectively.

Meanwhile, Sierra Leone is said to have rediscovered its place in the French-market, where as the National Tourist Board NTB approached and employed the warfare strategy to showcase the country’s friendly climate for business  and tourism with the aim of increasing the number of tourists” arrivals in the country.

The visa on arrival and visa free for some countries, including France is being negotiated with airlines to reduce cost of flying into Sierra Leone.

 

 

In love with Nyangai

By Mohamed Faray Kargbo

 

It is not often that one has the opportunity to go to distant places and meet new acquaintances. So whenever such circumstances present themselves, one must do everything humanly possible to grasp and hold it firmly.

I first met Nyangai on Saturday 6th October, 2018 when the Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Monuments and Relics Commission and the National Tourist Board made a visit to Bonthe Sherbro Island to assess the touristic potentials of the district with a view to exploiting it for national advancement.

The two hour watercraft ride from Bonthe Island to the Turtle Islands meant nothing to me considering the beauty of this God-given nature. For once, I couldn’t convince myself that the likes of Nyangai existed in Sierra Leone.

 

The palm trees, foliage and shrub on this tiny island are systematically positioned such that one is forced to love her at first sight. The pristine, white and shiny beaches connived with the huts, local boats, freshwater and ocean to produce a compelling spectacle. One hasn’t got an option but to love Nyangai.

Nyangai like the rest of the islands that constitute the Turtle Islands is extremely beautiful.

It was not long enough that I realized that each of the turtle-shaped islands is unique in their own way. The twin islands of Nyangai and Nyankai marry on low tides only to divorce on high tides.

“Whoooosh……….Whooosh” The calming sounds of the waves and the friendliness of the few inhabitants compete to steal our attention. Coconut was served even before we could alight the boat. This was why I fell in love with Nyangai.

Arguably some of the most pristine beaches in the world, the turtle-shaped islands offer an unparalleled opportunity for human beings to interact with nature.

Strategically located in the South-western coastal areas of Sierra Leone, this group of islands lie unexplored.

Due to its gritty sand, cool salty water, gentle wind, soft scratch of waves overlooking the blue sky; I reluctantly left the Cheppu beach which stretches to neighbouring Liberia.

Although, frequently exploited by foreign tourists, the communities, mostly poor people, sit on treasures that could easily transform their socio-economic status.

From Hoong to Sei, Baki to Moti, the islands are sights-to-behold, beautiful, pristine, clean and breath-taking.

They offer an enviable opportunity for tarpon or game-fishing, bird watching and expedition.

 

Any tourist investor who explores the Bonthe Sherbro Islands is sure to show interest in that area. Once attractive tourist investment areas, the challenging period of Sierra Leone’s history led to the decline in touristic activities in those areas.

The Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Affairs and the National Tourist Board must speedily continue the process already initiated. Bonthe Island can boom the economy of this country.

 

“For far too long Bonthe Sherbro Island has been neglected, under the new Direction we cannot allow that to continue.” concluded Memunatu Pratt, the country’s Tourism and Cultural Affairs Minister.

 

As I conclude this piece, one thing is clear, that my love for Nyangai remains intact.

 

Education and Outreach Unit

Monuments and Relics Commission

23 Pultney Street

Freetown

www.mrcsl.org

Email: info@mrcsl.org

SIERRA LEONE WELL POSITIONED AT THE FRENCH TOURISM TRADE FAIRS

Sierra Leone Profile Raised At French Tourism Market

IFTM Top Resa 2018

September 25 @ 10:00 – September 28 @ 16:00

This year’s trade fair in France at Port de Versaile stand out to be a one of its kind, as the event gathered thousands of tourism liked minded audience which covers tour operators, airlines, hotels chains, and estate engineers, investors for tourism destinations, cultural exchange consultants, tourism organizations, and new destinations where strongly visible, which the Sierra Leone delegation took advantage of giving the right and correct information relating to the destination.  This audience plus added visitors presence on daily attendance basis, created the level platform to meet with the right people to relate our message, that Sierra Leone is safe, set, and ready to receive tourists from all over the world.

This year’s trade fair delegation was headed by Madam Memunatu B. Pratt, the Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs. With her leadership and support the team was able to meet key benchmarks as strong indications showed to shift the demand curve for tourist arrivals to Sierra Leone, with every support from the Permanent Secretary-Mr. T.R.Gbetuwa, The Director of Tourism- Mr. Mohamed Jalloh, who was there to give the technical support, backed up by the Acting General Manager- National Tourist Board-Madam Fatmata Abe-Osagie who stepped in strong with the Marketing and PR skillful approach aided by the Marketing Manager- Madam Lucinda Kargbo. The Commission for Monuments and Relics was fully represented by two professional staff: Mr. Mohamed Farray Kargbo-the Communications and Outreach Officer and Madam Ann-Mary Kamara- the Admin Officer, who also showed up strong. Moreover, The Chief Executive Travel Officer of Tourism is Life Tours was in full attendance and gave relentless support to the achievements of a successful trade fair and the lead to meeting with Thomas Cook, a leading world tour operator. The Tourism Representative for Sierra Leone to France Mr. Olivier Thery and assistant Madam Zoumba gave their very best in designing the booth, and indeed the booth captured the right audience coupled up with the mass distribution of our local handy crafts, food items and many other promotional materials.

The genuine urge from the eyes of the visitors showed a strong signal that Sierra Leone will rise again, and the tourism shift we expect is not too far.

Amongst many activities was a one day a tourism press conference held at Pavilion 7, hall 3 by 4:30 France time. This one-day press conference was timely and the need was geared towards raising the profile of the country’s image that Sierra Leone’s Tourism potentials are huge and are ready to be tapped by those who are interested to tap from it. Not only that, but the team was able to create the awareness that corrected the negative publicity that has taken social media over the years. Therefore, the press conference was really needed to the international tourist generating regions that Sierra Leone is peaceful and ready for business. Many questions where posed to the team, but also answers were provided to those questions as wanted.

As the trade fair was a success, the last day was used by the Minister of Tourism and the entire team to meet with the Sierra Leonean Community based in France. The meeting was to discuss their full participation in creating the right awareness within the society they live.

Minister’s address at the International Press conference in IFTM

More deliberations went on and on with key Tourism minded investors like Thomas Cook who is really intending to be doing chattered flights, and to make Sierra Leone a tourist destination as with this we can create more night occupancy and right awareness to other tourism companies.

NTB MKT/PR/COMMUNICATIONS

Minister of Tourism shares Sierra Leone’s investment opportunities with international journalists in Paris

Minister of Tourism shares Sierra Leone’s investment opportunities with international journalists in Paris

By Mohamed Faray Kargbo and Kai Bockarie Saquee

“We want to build confidence and to assure the world that Sierra Leone is ready once more to attract tourists from theFrench Market.”

These were the words of the Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Memunatu Pratt to a cross section of international journalists at the French Exposition in Paris, France.

In a Press Conference organized on Wednesday September 26,2018, Madam Pratt told the Press that “tourism is the only asset that can transform Sierra Leone.”

While exhibiting the hidden treasures of Sierra Leone, Madam Pratt underscored the need to take advantage of the endless opportunities that the country is blessed with to tour Sierra Leone.

A video displaying the touristic potentials of Sierra Leone was viewed by all journalists who were present for the conference.

The media practitioners asked series of questions ranging from the peace and stability of the country to the infrastructural development of the nation.

In attendance were the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Tampa Gbetuwa, Director of Tourism, Mohamed Jalloh, General Manager, National Tourist Board, Fatmata Abe-Osagie, Alieya A Kargbo of Tourism is Life and Miss Sierra Leone 2018, Sarah Laura Tucker.

IFTM Top Resa is the biggest forum where top global tour operators meet to network and improve business relations.

Media and Communications Unit
Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Affairs
King Harman Road

Marketing Department
National Tourist Board
Lumley Beach Road
Freetown

Miss Sierra Leone 2018, Sarah Laura Tucker at the IFTM Top Resa Trade Fair and Exhibition

Sierra Leone at the IFTM Top Resa Trade Fair and Exhibition. Miss Sierra Leone 2018, Sarah Laura Tucker already doing the magic to woo investors to do tourism business in Sierra Leone.

The French Expo started today Tuesday 25th September, 2018 with tourism professionals and businesses exhibiting their products and services.