• Saturday, June 22, 2024
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Sierra Leone launches National Strategic Plan to ignite tourism growth

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Sierra Leone has launched the country’s first-ever National Strategic Tourism Plan.

The landmark project, in collaboration with the World Bank Sierra Leone Economic Diversification Project (SLEDP), was launched by Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh, vice president, on behalf of Julius Maada Bio, president of Sierra Leone.

The event drew government officials, parliamentarians, the mayor, and international partners, underscoring the significance of the milestone.

Crafted by Journey and Keios Consultants, the National Strategic Tourism Plan signifies the government’s unwavering commitment to providing a clear vision, developing strategies, and formulating a realistic roadmap for the tourism sector’s development over the next decade, supported by a detailed five-year action plan.

The vice president emphasized the importance of the plan, stating, “Since 2018, we have been making large investments in tourism. We have invested resources into infrastructure, such as our brand new airport, which is a gateway to easy travel. Also, we have ensured that the journey from Lungi Airport to the water transportation service are upgraded. We shall continue to improve the transition from Lungi to Freetown. Additionally, Sierra Leone is now a visa-free country with visa on arrival, and we shall continue to expand access. Furthermore, publicity on Sierra Leone as a tourist destination has heightened with published articles from leading international news outlets.”

Jalloh also highlighted the future prospects of the tourism sector.

“In the future, the tourism sector will generate money for the economy and create jobs nationwide. With His Excellency’s drive for economic diversification, this plan constitutes a viable roadmap to unleash the potential of the tourism sector,” he said.

On her part, Nabeela Tunis, Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, further emphasized the significance of the National Tourism Plan.

“This 10-year National Tourism Plan, the first in the country’s history, serves as a roadmap not only to overcome the sector’s challenges but also to cultivate a profitable and sustainable industry that fosters economic growth and prosperity in Sierra Leone. It is the culmination of exhaustive research and extensive consultations. Embracing a people-centered approach to governance and development, as advocated by His Excellency the President, all key stakeholders in the tourism sector were afforded the opportunity to contribute their insights on the trajectory they envision for the industry over the next decade,” she explained.

During the launch event, the vice president reiterated the government’s commitment to tourism development.

“The tourism sector will generate money for the economy and create jobs nationwide. With His Excellency’s drive for economic diversification, this plan constitutes a viable roadmap to unleash the potential of the tourism sector,” he highlighted

In closing, Tunis extended gratitude to President Julius Maada Bio for his unwavering support and to all stakeholders whose contributions shaped the strategic plan.

She concluded by saying, “The President of the Republic is now Sierra Leone’s ‘National Tourism Champion’ for his excellence and distinguished leadership in recognizing and promoting tourism in Sierra Leone. Let us unite in harnessing tourism as a catalyst for Sierra Leone’s sustainable development aspirations.”