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.
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.
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.
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
Thomas Cook Group, one of the leading global tour operators would soon start doing tourist business with Sierra Leone.
In the meeting with the Flight and Airport Services Manager of Thomas Cook Group, Stephane Joly, he assured that they would be coming to Sierra Leone to evaluate the tourism investment opportunities.
Facilitated by the National Tourist Board, the Group held meetings with Sierra Leone’s Tourism and Cultural Affairs Minister, Memunatu Pratt during the French Expo in Paris.
While inviting Thomas Cook Group to explore Sierra Leone, the Minister assured that the country’s rich cultural and touristic resources could hardly be compared with others.
The Group promised to visit Sierra Leone in November, 2018 to evaluate the touristic strength with a view to marketing her to tourists globally.
“Sierra Leone remains one of the untapped treasures of the world” remarked the country’s Director of Tourism, Mohamed Jalloh.
Fatmata Abe Osagie is the Acting General Manager of the Tourist Board of Sierra Leone, she confessed that bringing Thomas Cook Group to Sierra Leone could be the best thing to happen to tourism in Sierra Leone.
Thomas Cook Group operates in over 150 countries. Their package holidays are second to none with some of the world’s best destinations.
Media and Communication Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Affairs KingHarman Road
Marketing Department National Tourist Board Lumley Beach Road Freetown