Category: News

President Julius Maada Bio Closes 2018 Agro-Tourism & Cultural Festival on Bonthe Municipal Island in Sierra Leone By State House Media and Communications Unit on December 24

Bonthe Municipal Island, Bonthe, Monday 24 December 2018 – His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio has closed the 2018 Agro-Tourism Festival organised by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security and the Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Affairs on Bonthe Municipal Island, southern Sierra Leone.

The event provided the platform for agricultural and tourism groups from within the district to showcase their various products.

In his keynote address, President Bio said he was pleased with the initiative of the two ministries in organising such a wonderful event geared towards showcasing both the agricultural and touristic potentials of the district.

He said his government considered agricultural and tourism as very important components in the governance structure and that they were integral in achieving economic diversification. He noted that with tourism and agriculture Bonthe district had the potential to be the breadbasket of the country.

He thanked the people of Bonthe for overwhelmingly voting him during the March-April elections. He said over the years Bonthe had been a deprived district in the country because of divisive politics, adding that his administration was ready to correct that injustice by embarking on development projects in the district.

“This once thriving district became a deprived and neglected city. As President, I will ensure that development is shared to every part of this country and Bonthe will no longer be an exception. We will revive this district and restore its lost glory.

“Very soon, we will begin the reconstruction of the sea face that will attract a lot of tourists to the district and will also construct 5 kilometres of roads inside the municipality as a start. Also, plans are underway to resume the Tormabom Agricultural Center, which alone can feed the entire nation with reserve to export,” he said.

In his unending quest for human capital development, President Bio also disclosed that within the shortest period his government would open a School of Excellence in Information Technology that would offer professional courses not only for Sierra Leoneans but also for the entire subregion.

Mayor of the Bonthe Municipal Island, Joe Sandi, said they were happy to receive their son for the first time as President of the country. He said they were so far pleased with the development strives that were already taking place in the district, noting that  Bonthe had been a deprived settlement that needed urgent attention to catch up with other parts of the country.

He called on the President to provide more roads as a way of boosting the tourism sector in the district. He also cited challenges in the telecommunications sector, in particular, the urgent attention needed to connect the district with the rest of the world.

Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Jonathan Joseph Ndanema, said the festival was a way of finding suitable ways of reducing unemployment in the district and the country as a whole. He said Bonthe offered a lot of opportunities to the country which were not explored by past governments.

He stated that his ministry was working on transforming agriculture into a business adventure capable of producing enough food for consumption and for export. He said his ministry would continue the inter-ministerial collaboration and ensure the event was held annually.

Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Dr Memunatu Pratt, said Bonthe had made history for being the first district to host the event, saying that they would learn from the experience in Bonthe and implement similar event in other districts with Agro-tourism potentials.

She added: “Tourism is one of the core areas of government and I am happy for the political will received from the President. This Island has great potentials and if we can unlock them, it will create jobs for the locals and as well improve the national revenue.”

KAFFU BULLOM TANGAINS FESTIVAL

KAFFU BULLOM TANGAINS FESTIVAL

As the year roll by, Tourism festivities crowns it all. 

In matching up with responsibilities and strategic plans to create a fair awareness it is highly incumbent on the Tourism sector leadership under the directives of The Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs Dr. MB. Pratt in meeting targets and deliver result as measured.

Therefore; on this mandate The Sierra Leone National Tourist Board is fully participating in the first edition of the Lungi Tangains Festival, organized by The Standard Team Organization.

The Tourism Board is mainly here to liase, understand, and effectively communicate the stronger effect of Tourism by promotion of right tourism asset and showcasing the Country’s Tourism potential to Both local and International attendees.

The booth constructed and been decorated sends a stronger signal of tourism development and readiness. Staff of Lungi Airport are in full attendance on rota basis as the events prescribed.

From Lungi KAFFU Bullom arround the airport the random activities has hyped the Christmas momentum for all ages within here.

NTB Publicist
Kai B Saquee

WTM DAY ONE – UK tour operators and media gurus request to visit Sierra Leone on farm trip

World Travel Market amassed thousands of Exhibitors, Trade visitors, and a cohesive B2B networking. On the 5th of November, which happens to be the first day of the Trade fair, Sierra Leone commenced the trade fair with a well-organized Press Conference, which gathered quite a number of top travel writers, journalists, key Tour Operators and top officials of the Sierra Leone High Commission UK. This Conference was timely and needed to be held as Sierra Leone needs to position as a destination that is ready for business.

However, the Press Conference was hosted to ensure journalists and as well tour operators were given the first-hand information relating to accommodation, destination safety, airfares, water transportation, Tourism assets potentials and readiness of Government in partnering with the right investors to achieve these slated targets.

The Hon. Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs gave a resounding speech that pulled the Journalists and Tour Operators to request for a Familiarization Tours to Sierra Leone in few weeks ahead.

With a short but powerful presentation, from the new Tourism Rep Tim, he showcased Sierra Leone by just sliding high-resolution Tourism pictures, which captured the minds and hearts of these Tour Operators. Tim was able to introduce a new Tourism campaign slogan ” Sierraouisly surprising” Just after the Press Conference delegates processed to the booth for further meetings and networking. Finally, a new organization for AFRICA was launched at the Trade Fair called ATB African Tourism Board, where the Minister made a keynote address, on the timeliness and implored the team head, that this ATB must serve its purposes.

Stay connected for more updates
Kai B. Saquee

 

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.

 

 

Exploration of the touristic potentials of Bonthe Sherbro Islands

Officials from the Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, the National Tourist Board and the Monuments and Relics Commission in collaboration with Citizens for Sustainable Tourism have completed an assessment of the touristic potentials of Bonthe Sherbro Islands.

Led by the Director of Tourism in the Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Mohamed Jalloh, the team visited the pristine Turtle Islands, Victoria and Mania Islands and the vast stretch of cheppo beaches.

The team notes the urgent need to develop the Islands with a view to harnessing the socio-economic gains for national development.

Sierra Leone’s Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Madam Memunatu Pratt is desperate to overall the entire tourism infrastructure in the country.

“The vast array of Islands are some of the best you can get anywhere in the world.” noted Paramount Chief Chernor Amidu Ashun Ngabay of Dema Chiefdom,  Bonthe District.

 

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