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SIERRA LEONE OPEN TO VISITORS AT ALL TIME -Sierra Leone is blissful 

SIERRA LEONE OPEN TO VISITORS AT ALL TIME

Sierra Leone is blissful

‘Amazing country with receptive people, moreover the peace’ said the head of the 300 Danish tourists. These teenagers, never felt nostalgic, but rather wanting to come back and feel that breath-taking ambiance and sceneries of hope and relax state of mind.

 

Freedom, safety, friendly and hospitality with cultural fusion Sierra Leone explains it all, when the finished line for Budapest Bamako rally ended in Freetown. Participants of the rally had many options how to spend their remaining days in the city of the freed. Well, this speak a volume of sanity and acceptance, none of them experienced theft, no scam, no accident, no crime but in entirety, all they expressed was indeed Sierra Leone is the place to be. The 700 riders including team members, rod in splendid leisure, culture and amazing nightlife, that left them with no thought of going back but to extend their stays.

Sierra Leone in West Africa enjoy an interrupted peace for years and this peace will sustainably be managed for future posterity.

Welcoming you to Freetown, sweep through its historical core. This is an amazing country, tours that takes you through Freetown’s heritage. This is great not just for new visitors to Freetown but also residents who wish to understand the historical significance of many sites they go past on a daily basis.

Sierra Leone, country of western Africa. The country owes its name to the 15th-century Portuguese explorer Pedro De Cintra, the first European to sight and map Freetown harbour. The original Portuguese name, Serra Lyoa (“Lion Mountains”), referred to the range of hills that surrounds the harbour. The capital, Freetown, commands one of the world’s largest natural harbours.

 

The main attractions for tourist in Sierra Leone are the beaches, nature reserves, mountains and the islands (Banana Island and Turtle Islands). … Sierra Leone is considered one of the best places in the world to catch Atlantic tarpon.

For the traveller, Sierra Leone is still West Africa’s secret beach destination. Sweet sands rise from the soft waters of the Atlantic, with the backdrop dressed in sun-stained hues, rainforest green and the red, red roads of the north.

In Freetown, colourful stilted houses remember the days when freed slaves from the Caribbean were resettled upon these shores. In the north, the Loma Mountains form the highest point west of Cameroon. Further east national parks and rainforest shelter endangered species like the black-and-white colobus monkey and the elusive pygmy hippo.

Coming face to face with the enchanting relics of the mastery architectural display that once defined the merciless economical “glory” of the Bunce Island, you’ll know thereon, that this is a place that warrants the visitation of everyone, at least once in our lifetime. If not for the purpose of reflections, empathy, and a sense of history, but for the serene-celestial-leisure and the liberating experiences enveloped in both the boat journey and the tour of the strategic slavery fortress built in the bosom of Temne lands.

Sierra Leone-Sierraously Surprising:  a country known for her beauty with lush sun-sand beaches enticed with enviable mount peaks and valleys located on the West Coast of Africa, sharing friendly borders with the Republic of Guinea to the north and northeast, Liberia to the east and southeast, while the Atlantic Ocean is to the west and south.

Are you a beach lover, or an Eco friendly or more culturally savvy person? Well your melting pot for all of these essentials is Sierra Leone. The country stand to boasts of approximately 600km of coastline, with different sands colours and water waves, as the Freetown peninsula serves as grandeur of leisure attractions with archipelagos of islands with green basket mangroves.

Are you a swimmer, snorkeler, kayaker, otherwise, If you’re enticed  by nature, look no further than the Banana Island- Dalton Guest House, Baffa Resort and the surrounding that  offers natural and exotic beauty unlike anywhere in the world and a bunch of underwater and water activities.

In a way, Sherbro Island has had the same treatment as the rest of Sierra Leone. It’s overlooked; many people are not aware of its existence, let alone its tourist potential. Visitors have been few, but those who do visit return home with diamonds in their eyes. Mesmerised by the exotic sights, the beauty of the people and the unique experiences. VSL has seen the potential of Sherbro, and this article will tell you everything you need to know about visiting this peaceful island.

Located two hours by motor boat from the mainland, Sherbro Island has about 30.000 inhabitants. The main town is Bonthe (not to be confused with Bunce), which is the first access point to the rest of the island. There are barely any motor vehicles on the island, therefore transportation is limited to walking, and using motorbikes and boat rides. All three are appealing, but for deeper explorations motorbikes and boats are recommended.

They say Paris is for lovers, we say Sierra Leone is for lovers. The country is a mixture of vibrant city life, tranquil natural surroundings, and stunning views. Sierra Leone can provide the perfect context to make memories you will not forget. Ah, and of course, a country so picturesque makes that even easier.

 

SIERRA LEONE SAFEST TOURIST DESTINATION SIERRAOUSLY SURPRISING

‘Amazing country with receptive people, moreover the peace’ said the head of the 300 Danish tourists. These teenagers, never felt nostalgic, but rather wanting to come back and feel that breath-taking ambiance and sceneries of hope and relax state of mind.

 

Freedom, safety, friendly and hospitality with cultural fusion Sierra Leone explains it all, when the finished line for Budapest Bamako rally ended in Freetown. Participants of the rally had many options how to spend their remaining days in the city of the freed. Well, this speak a volume of sanity and acceptance, none of them experienced theft, no scam, no accident, no crime but in entirety, all they expressed was indeed Sierra Leone is the place to be. The 700 riders including team members, rod in splendid leisure, culture and amazing nightlife, that left them with no thought of going back but to extend their stays.

Well if this country was known for the negative irony propelled by bloggers and some freelancers. Sierra Leone in West Africa enjoy an interrupted peace for years and this peace will sustainably be managed for future posterity.

 

Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone-Sierraously Surprising:  a country known for her beauty with lush sun-sand beaches enticed with enviable mount peaks and valleys located on the West Coast of Africa, sharing friendly borders with the Republic of Guinea to the north and northeast, Liberia to the east and southeast, while the Atlantic Ocean is to the west and south.

Are you a beach lover, or an Eco friendly or more culturally savvy person? Well your melting pot for all of these essentials is Sierra Leone. The country stand to boasts of approximately 600km of coastline, with different sands colours and water waves, as the Freetown peninsula serves as grandeur of leisure attractions with archipelagos of islands with green basket mangroves.

Are you a swimmer, snorkeler, kayaker, otherwise, If you’re enticed  by nature, look no further than the Banana Island- Dalton Guest House, Baffa Resort and the surrounding that  offers natural and exotic beauty unlike anywhere in the world and a bunch of underwater and water activities.

 

 

Sierra Leone is naturally rich and diverse in biodiversity, culture, heritage and eco-friendly.

With tranquillity been at peak, the country to visit in West Africa is Sierra Leone, for the reasons are clear, it’s gorgeous and exotic beaches that transcend a rare colonial heritage ambiance and offer a genuine and fantastic scenery, you can climb its mountainous region, or freely walk along the streets of Freetown and all its touristic areas which is free of taut. The  peninsula’s white sands and splendid coastline, with beaches so perfect they could be described as world-class – as you will probably be most enchanted by this country’s warm and welcoming people that are known for doing the impossible just to make tourists feel comfortable and feel relaxed.

OVERALL RISK: NONE

With all the above description of pleasantry about Sierra Leone, and it has been classed as the a friendly destination, it is indeed, as this destination has much more to offer to its arrivals- no tourist has ever reported theft, crime, rubbery, scam, murder, kidnapping or rape, these actions are not our blood for strangers. But rather we offer our friendly attitudes towards our tourists and friends from other regions. Therefore, have no fear to visit this country of peace and hospitable people.

MOVING ARROUND- TRANSPORT – TAXIS, BUSES, PODA-PODA, KEHKEH, OKADA AND WATER TRANSFERS

Transportation in Sierra Leone is safe at all points, major trunk roads are all tarmac, except for roads leading to villages which are also accessible with  4×4 vehicles, and the cost are reasonable. One can travel by buses, taxis, poda poda, kehkeh, okada, or private hire. However, one is advised to take care of personal items, so you do not forget them on-board. Your travel from point A to point B is always well organized with record passenger manifest especially for provincial trips, for city you can flex with Okada or Kehkeh feel the beats of harmony. You are safe and can work alone without a guide except for other tourist attraction, where you require a step on guide or a hired guide for directions. For water lovers, you can reach Freetown city with water taxis, as we have three water taxis, so you have better options or better still one can use road, which is also friendly.

 

SIERRA LEONE PICKPOCKETS RISK-

One should not be petrified about pickpocketing because it is rare, neither are you on bus or taxi or any means you are fine and you have nothing to fear. However, your concern should be you not losing things by forgetful means. So it’s also advising you always have a waist bag or side bag for your handy items. Carrying your purse or money on you is as well safe, and no one can brutally attack you for your possessions, we do not have such testimonies from tourists.

NATURAL DISASTERS RISK-

It is been tagged as natural, these are unforeseen circumstances, and ever since in our history the records on mudslide just occurred once, we have  nothing like wild fires, earth quakes, tsunamis. For diseases and outbreak, yes, we had Ebola, and every country must have challenges so Sierra Leone is not exceptional.  Sierra Leone is susceptible to flooding and mudslides.  As a nation our sustainable and environmental mitigation and adaptation model suits us well, to manage major environmental shortfalls.

MUGGING RISK: NONE

Mugging in Sierra Leone is never treated as a graving concern, because this act is not seen amongst us or in our public places, rather the people will help to keep your items safe at all time, because we believe; strangers must be treated with care and respect. So one should not be afraid of public gathering because of mugging.

TERRORISM RISK: NONE

There haven’t been any recent terrorist attacks in Sierra Leone’s recent history, but they shouldn’t be ruled out since Sierra Leone contributes to the UN peacekeeping initiative in Mali or around the world should not send threats to categorised the country as a prone terrorist area. This we have never and shall experience it, because none terrorist attacks make us more safe and stable. You can visit any time, and you can travel everywhere at any hour of the night and you are safe and free from every attacks.

SCAMS RISK: NOT RECORED NONE

Scams and robberies are the order of the day for other countries but not Sierra Leone. Our taxi drivers and KehKeh riders are all friendly and take you around and how you to decide what you can pay in most cases. If you are an investors, it is but advice to visit Ministries, Department and Agencies for advice on investment opportunities otherwise you can make the wrong turn. There is no record or report for theft from the use of the ATM or gangs chase for moneys withdrawn. The bank always can advice well how to do your transfers to avoid such, if there are any.

WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK:  NORMAL

Sierra Leone is the safest place for a woman to be visiting alone. Women are treated here with high caution and they are always protected against arm and danger. Streets in Freetown are always safe, and passers bye mind their own businesses, except if you need help then they can work up to you for assistance on free of cost.

So… How Safe Is Sierra Leone Really? 100% SAFE

Sierra Leone is safe and the right place to be at all time.

Its tourism potential is intact and well harnessed.

Sierra Leone is, according to some, the friendliest place in Africa, yet according recent visitors claimed Sierra Leone indeed is the best place to be in Africa. With its reach minerals and oil deposit, Sierra Leone is set to surprise the world again.

As expected, the people of Sierra Leone are content, so you do not have to be cautious when traveling to this country and bear in mind that visiting now blend with leisure and adventure.

Keep in mind that traveling anywhere outside Freetown is safe and calm since the roads are accessible and maintained, and the drivers all around can help much – they mostly drive vehicles that are in good driving condition and the roads are well paved now.

                                                    Useful Information

Visa on arrival

As part of government’s commitment to promote tourism and attract foreign direct investment, the Government of Sierra Leone wishes to inform the general public, airline operators, Sierra Leone Embassies and Missions overseas, International Air Transport Association (IATA), international partners and other government bodies that with effect from Thursday 5th September 2019, a new Visa on Arrival policy has been rolled-out for persons from the following countries or blocs:

  • United Kingdom Citizens
  • European Union Citizens
  • United States Citizens
  • Citizens of Commonwealth member countries
  • Citizens of Gulf Cooperation Council member countries (UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, and Oman)
  • Citizens of the BRICS Countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa)
  • Citizens of the following countries:
    • Lebanon
    • Iran
    • Cambodia
    • Vietnam
    • Singapore
    • Indonesia
    • Thailand
    • Turkey
    • Japan
    • South Korea
    • Norway
    • Israel
    • Bolivia
    • East Timor
    • Macau
    • Samoa
    • Tuvalu

Below are the visa fees for ease of reference:

  • ECOWAS nationals – Visa-free
  • Non-Ecowas AU nationals – USD 25.00
  • All other countries – USD 80.00

Citizens of ECOWAS states and all other countries with which Sierra Leone has visa-free agreements will continue to enjoy visa-free access.

Citizens of countries not listed above are required to visit the nearest Sierra Leone Embassy or Mission abroad to secure visas prior to visiting Sierra Leone. All persons coming to Sierra Leone for the purpose other than tourism, visit or business needs to apply for a visa before undertaken such travel. We wish to reassure all potential visitors of a continuing hassle-free visa processing experience.

Flights and Routings

For all your trips to Sierra Leone, flights are available to connect you from Europe, The Americas, Africa, Asia and any part of the world. The list of available eleven flights for easy connections to Sierra Leone, Air France, Asky Airline, Air Mauritania, Africa World, Air Côte d’Ivoire, Brussels Airlines, Kenya Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Turkish Air Line, Trans Air, Air Peace Limited.

 

REQUEST FOR EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST: CONSULTING SERVICES – INDIVIDUAL SELECTION

Sierra Leone Economic Diversification Project Loan No. P164212
Assignment Title: Consulting Services for Updating Quality Standards and Licensing Processes for Lodging Establishments in Sierra Leone
Reference No. SL-MOFED-162904-CS-INDV

Sierra Leone possesses pristine beaches and islands, mountains and rich biodiversity, interesting wildlife, friendliness and rich cultural capital among people and its special place in the world history of anti-slavery movement as ‘the land of the free.’ The Government of Sierra (GoSL) has officially prioritized tourism in the newly formulated National Development Plan 2019 – 2023. The new National Tourism Policy states the goal of tourism in Sierra Leone is to “generate foreign exchange, encourage even development, promote tourism based rural enterprises, generate employment, accelerate rural-urban integration and foster socio-cultural unity among the various regions of the country through the promotion of domestic and international tourism.” (GoSL, 2017). It’s National Ecotourism Policy states the goal of receiving 20,000 international and 30,000 domestic ecotourism visits to sites by 2025 (GoSL, 2017).

The World Bank is preparing an Economic Diversification Project, one of the components of which will take an integrated destination approach to improve the performance of Sierra Leone’s tourism sector. This will include facilitating the reduction of barriers to business success, assisting existing tourism providers with market access, and improving the quality of selected tourism products in order to place the country’s tourism sector on a sustainable and inclusive growth trajectory. This will be achieved through a mix of institutional and policy reforms, market development, national marketing enhancement, re-branding, building B2B linkages, and strategically developing tourism products in selected areas.

Please click here to download the full REOI

Contact: Project Fiduciary Management Unit
Ministry of Finance
Attn: Procurement Officer
13a Howe Street Freetown
+232 Freetown, Sierra Leone
Tel: +23278235061
E-mail: sleconomicdiversification@gmail.com

REQUEST FOR EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST: CONSULTING SERVICES – FIRM SELECTION

Sierra Leone Economic Diversification Project Loan No. P164212
Assignment Title: Consulting Services to Develop Strategic Plan for Sustainable Tourism in Sierra Leone
Reference No. SL-MOFED-163398-CS-CQS

Sierra Leone possesses pristine beaches and islands, mountains and rich biodiversity, interesting wildlife, friendliness and rich cultural capital among people and its special place in the world history of anti-slavery movement as ‘the land of the free.’ The Government of Sierra (GoSL) has officially prioritized tourism under the newly formulated National Development Plan 2019 – 2023. The new National Tourism Policy states the goal of tourism in Sierra Leone is to “generate foreign exchange, encourage even development, promote tourism based rural enterprises, generate employment, accelerate rural-urban integration and foster socio-cultural unity among the various regions of the country through the promotion of domestic and international tourism.” (GoSL, 2017). It’s National Ecotourism Policy states the goal of receiving 20,000 international and 30,000 domestic ecotourism visits to sites by 2025 (GoSL, 2017).

The World Bank is preparing an Economic Diversification Project, one of the components of which will take an integrated destination approach to improve the performance of Sierra Leone’s tourism sector. This will include facilitating the reduction of barriers to business success, assisting existing tourism providers with market access, and improving the quality of selected tourism products in order to place the country’s tourism sector on a sustainable and inclusive growth trajectory. This will be achieved through a mix of institutional, and policy reforms, market development and national marketing enhancement and re-branding as well as building B2B linkages and strategically developing tourism products in selected areas.

Please click here to download the full REOI

Contact: Project Fiduciary Management Unit
Ministry of Finance
Attn: Procurement Officer
13a Howe Street Freetown
+232 Freetown, Sierra Leone
Tel: +23278235061
E-mail: sleconomicdiversification@gmail.com

Budapest-Bamako rally wrapped-up in Freetown

Sierra Leone wraps up Budapest Bamako rally in Freetown

Africa’s greatest charity car race, Budapest Bamako rally comes to Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone’s President, Dr Julius Maada Bio has welcomed over 700 tourists who completed the Budapest Bamako charity car race in Freetown.

The event which took place at the National Stadium in Freetown on Sunday, February 16, 2020, was attended by dignitaries from all walks of life.

As they drove through the last 89 kilometres to the finish-line, on-lookers watched in awe. Dusty 4*4 jeeps, SUVs, buses, pick-up vans and
motorbikes rode through in rapid succession.

At Masiaka, they were greeted with cultural performances and traditional rites. The best dancers and drummers from the surrounding villages of Masiaka revealed the most tantalizing moves to the admiration of the guests.

The guests in return did the symbolic planting of 2,000 trees to mitigate the effects of climate change and deforestation. They also shared gifts with the less privileged along their route as part of their charity work.

Driving over 8,000 km from Hungary’s capital, Budapest through Slovenia, Italy, France and Spain in Europe then crossing over to Africa through Morocco, Mauritania, Senegal, Guinea and ending in Sierra Leone was no mean feat. It was a gruelling 17-day journey into the unknown starting from Budapest on January 31, 2020.

Sierra Leone’s Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, the National Tourist Board, Monuments and Relics Commission and Visit Sierra Leone (VSL Tours) couldn’t have collaborated better to bring that event to fruition.

“I hereby proclaimed you all as ambassadors for Sierra Leone tourism. Please share the good news about this destination when you return” remarked Dr Memunatu Pratt, the Tourism and Cultural Affairs Minister.

Arguably Sierra Leone’s most successful tourism minister in the recent past, Dr Pratt has been working assiduously to transform the sector and make the country a preferred tourism destination.

President Julius Maada Bio was elated to host the biggest tourism event since his ascension to the seat of power. His promise of diversifying the nation’s economy through tourism was proving to be propitious.

While welcoming the nearly 700 excursionists from over 80 countries, in 210 cars, 52 motorbikes, and 20 trucks and buses, President Bio used the opportunity to share some of the nation’s most exciting touristic and cultural sites that they could enjoy during their stay.

Founder/Coordinator of Budapest Bamako rally, Andrew Szabo was happy for the warm reception and stressed that they chose Sierra Leone because the country was stable and growing steadily following her ugly past.

Chief Executive of VSL Travel, Bimbola Carol, Director of Tourism, Mohamed Jalloh and a host of others made statements. Certificates of completion were presented to each of the 240 teams.

Dubbed the “last great adventure” the Budapest Bamako rally brings close to a million US dollar in charity to Africa. The 13th edition which ended in Sierra Leone in 2020 is the longest epic journey since its inception. The next rally takes place in 2022.

 

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THREE HUNDRED DANISH TOURISTS FLOOD SIERRA LEONE FROM DENMARK

It is amazing and Sierraously surprising to see such a mass number of tourists since the 80s when tourism was at the peak.

Well, the continuous marketing and rebranding process has begun to yield substantial results, as these arrivals said it all. For this year (2020), February has recorded quite a huge number of arrivals from Denmark to be precise.
The group is BOBBEN AND ROGERS TOURS a local Sierra Leone Tour Company.

The Sierra Leone Flag flying higher at Fitur 2020.

Fitur held at Féria de Madrid in Spain is an opener of every tourism industry year and global tourism specialists to converge and share experiences.

Sierra Leone’s presence at this Fitur Expo 2020 from 22-26 of January is to promote and market the tourism and investment potentials of the country to over 10,000 companies and over 142,000 trade visitors from over 165 countries.

The Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs is leading the team at Fitur 2020 joined by the Director of Tourism in the Ministry, Chairman and General Manager of National Tourist Board and the Administrative Manager of Monuments and Relics Commission.

The team is engaged in various meetings with sector players around the world including government officials, trade visitors and the public showing diverse interest on Sierra Leone as a destination.

This Fitur 2020 is a unique forum for presenting our brand Sierra Leone and immerse through learning emerging sector trends and tapping new opportunities that translate to sustainable development.

More updates from MTCA/NTB/MRC

Idris Elba awarded Brand Ambassador status in Sierra Leone.

Sierra Leone’s President Julius Maada Bio meets Film actor Idris Elba, awards him with a Brand Ambassador Status.

His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio has issued the British Hollywood actor and musician, Idris Elba, with a Sierra Leonean Diplomatic Passport and pronounced him a Brand Ambassador for the small resource-rich West African nation.

During a meeting at the State Lodge on Hill Station, President Bio said that Mr Elba’s visit to Sierra Leone had been long-awaited, saying that he could feel his burning desire to come back home to be welcomed by his country people. He said that the country had gone through a lot with a scarred image, which needed a conscientious effort from everyone to change that perception and create a new narrative.

“We have tried our best to change the narrative but we need more hands on deck. With you, we have a capable hand to join my government in shaping the future of this country – telling the world a new narrative about a Sierra Leone that is ready to grow and a nation that is ready to be the hub for innovation and technology in Africa and a nation that is looking forward.

“We are conferring you a citizenship of this country and to make you a Brand Ambassador of Sierra Leone. We want to tap into your network to be able to tell the world that the little nation they knew for bad things is now a new Sierra Leone. We want to let the world know that Sierra Leone is now ready for business,” he said.

Receiving the passport, Idris Elba said that he was honoured and thankful for the opportunity to become a citizen of his father’s country, noting that it was an honour for his family. He said he had always wanted to come to Sierra Leone and make a mark adding that he was thankful that his career had afforded him and family the ability to come back to Sierra Leone with determination to rebrand the country.

“This is my first visit to Sierra Leone but will not be my last. I will love to bring with me the new energy that President Bio is so focused on. I am very excited for this honour and I want to take this honour to make the President and people of Sierra Leone proud of me,’’ he said.

Elba’s father, Winston Elba, migrated from Sierra Leone to the United Kingdom in the late 1960s where he met with his Ghanaian mother, Eve Elba. He is also a producer and director continually securing his place as one of the most versatile performers in Hollywood. He is a winner of several accolades for his distinguished service in the field of entertainment. In addition to his Golden Globe win, he is the first male actor to receive dual Screen Actors Guild awards in one evening.

 

 

Sierra Leone’s Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Affairs (MTCA) in partnership Visit Sierra Leone (VSL) to end-host world’s largest amateur rally.

Sierra Leone’s Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Affairs (MTCA) in partnership with one of the leading tour operators in the country known as Visit Sierra Leone (VSL) has on December 9th 2019 held a press conference to update the public on plans to host the reputable BUDAPEST-BAMAKO Rally (B-BR 2020) as its final destination.

Held at the MTCA Conference hall in Freetown, Mr Mohamed Jalloh Director of Tourism while chairing the occasion, disclosed that the press was invited to sensitize and prepare public support to ensure Sierra Leone benefits immensely from this charitable adventure, being the final destination country starting from the Hungarian capital, Budapest via Spain, Mauritania and finally into Freetown SL through Kambia/Guinea Border. Also as part of his welcome address, the Director described the opportunity as ” Being the first in its kind in SL” with the tourism vehicular road caravan starting from January 31st 2019 and ending on the 16th February 2019 at the National Stadium where H.E. President Bio is expected to address a host of international tourists from 80 countries. He justified how such huge visit will further enhance the enabling environment to transform the face of Sierra Leone’s tourism sector.

The CEO of VSL, Mr Bimbola Carol facilitator of the said humanitarian adventure, assessed the forthcoming tour as one of the biggest tourism markets for the nation since the end of the decade long civil unrest as he appealed to the media for cooperation to sensitize the country positively, describing them as logistic partners in complementing His Excellency’s tourism-rebranding dream.

Madam Estelle, the Brussels Airline representative remarked that the Airline is proud to be the official sponsor of the B-BR 2020; declining that it’s not a competition but a humanitarian venture to promote sharing of experience, livelihood support and discovery.

Briefing the media on the journey’s background, the lead B-BR 2020 coordinator Mr G. Szabo, recalled his awful flight cancellation experience in Conakry, Guinea in 2004 due to plane crash forcing him to an alternative road drive back home in Hungary. He delightfully chronicled the massive increase in the number of participants in the said African tour from 100 in 2005 to 700 in 2020. Mr Szabo, however, revealed the scepticism initially harboured by the majority of international tourists about their security in SL as he briefed the press on some positive moves he has made to frankly convince them about SL being a peaceful destination worth seeing and explore.

In her keynote address, The Hon. Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs Dr. Memunatu B. Pratt, while acknowledging VSL as one of the credible service providers in the country, commended the CEO for partnering with the Ministry to make SL a world- classed tourism destination. She maintained that this objective can only be achieved through a strong public-private partnership engagement. The Hon. Minister recalled the 1970s and 80s Paris Rally that SL ones witnessed as she described the forthcoming B-BR 2020 as a unique venture and an opportunity to offer such an interesting experience to the current generation of Sierra Leoneans.

Reminding the press about the top-ranking status of SL in the recent global International Safety Index assessment, Dr. Pratt encouraged the public to be aware of the said event, gearing up public expectation to offer the best hospitable behaviour to attract international visitors some of whom may consider the country for a permanent stay even after the said charity tour. “Sierra Leone has been removed from the list of high-risk zones due to tremendous efforts of Government supported by its citizens, which has led to some socio-economic and political stability, being a recipe for sustainable the tourism that the country needs to maintain and improve upon as a resilient nation,” she confirmed.

Meanwhile, some critical questions from journalists were satisfactorily responded to by the Ministry and partners present.

 

 

Freetown Forum – Agenda for Action on Women’s Empowerment in Tourism

We, the Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Affairs in collaboration with development partners, acknowledge the following:

  1. Tourism accounts for an estimated 10.4% of the world’s GDP, considering its direct, indirect and induced impacts (WTTC, 2019), and the tourism sector accounts directly for 3% of the GDP of the G20 economies (UNWTO, 2019);
  2. Globally, tourism represents one of the fastest-growing and resilient economic activities – forecasts indicate that tourism will experience sustained growth in the coming years, reaching 1.8 billion international tourist arrivals in 2030, up from 4 billion in 2018 (UNWTO, 2019);
  3. Tourism is one of the main sectors driving economic integration and socio-economic development, and creating jobs in many other sectors, including agriculture, construction, manufacturing, retail, handicrafts, cultural and creative industries, financial services, information and communication technologies (World Bank, 2017);
  4. Tourism accounts for a higher share of women’s employment and entrepreneurship as compared to the whole economy, and is a driving force for social inclusion including, but not limited to, women, young people, persons with disabilities, migrants, indigenous and tribal peoples, and rural populations (UNWTO, 2019);
  5. Tourism is a sector made up mostly of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)  providing   major   opportunities  for young and female entrepreneurial talent, and for integrating SMEs and start-ups into the value chain (G20 Osaka leaders);

Taking into consideration:

  1. The 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone, Chapter II, Section 9(1) and 9(2) (a) of provides for gender equality in education and outline directives that secure women’s rights to equitable access to and benefit from education and the 17.2 Education Act 2004;
  2. That nationally, the empowerment of women, youth and persons with disabilities is a core component of the Medium- Term National Development Plan (2019-2023) and tourism is a priority sector in the New Direction Agenda;
  3. The National Policy on Gender Mainstreaming (2000) the National Policy on Women’s Empowerment (2000), the National Action Plan on the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325, on Women, Peace, and Security, (2000), and the Local Content Policy of the National Tourism Policy and National Cultural Policy;
  4. The Chieftaincy Act No. 10 of 2009, Section 8 that makes women eligible to contest for and become Paramount Chiefs, the Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Bill, which establishes a minimum of 30 percent representation of women in governance at all levels;
  5. The Africa Agenda 2063, Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the G20 Osaka Tourism Ministers Declaration on Advancing Tourism’s Contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs);
  6. The seven key findings of the Global Report on Women and Tourism Second Edition, 2019 which state:
  1. Targeted interventions by public, private and civil society actors, such as promoting equal pay, tackling sexual harassment and recruiting women into high-level employment, help to promote decent work for women in tourism.
  2. Gender-sensitive legal and macroeconomic policies at the national level increase women’s economic empowerment in the tourism sector when they are implemented effectively.
  3. Investment in skills training for women, including training on soft skills and awareness-raising on available training opportunities, and gender equality training across the sector lead to greater outcomes for gender equality.
  4. Gender equality strategies for the tourism sector are vital for women’s empowerment, and must be backed by institutional and budgetary support.
  5. Women can be empowered politically and socially through tourism when links are made with the broader community and civil society organizations.
  6. When targeted gender-sensitive training is provided and women have access to appropriate technology,  the digitalization of tourism can offer exciting new opportunities for women’s innovation and empowerment.
  7. The availability of sex-disaggregated tourism data allows for better-targeted gender equality interventions in the sector and leads to greater women‘s empowerment.
 

Agree to work with policymakers, businesses, national and local government authorities, cooperatives, international organizations and NGOs towards implementation of the 2019 UNWTO Global Report on Women and Tourism Action Plan.

Action Plan

Employment

Take measures to tackle the gender pay gap in tourism.

Address social protection and unpaid work for women in tourism.

Systematically address the sexual harassment of women workers in the tourism sector, as well as issues of harassment in tourism communities against community members and travellers.

Develop and institutionalize gender equality strategies for the tourism sector.

Challenge gender-stereotypes in tourism sub-occupations.

Entrepreneurship

Work to ensure that women’s tourism businesses can become formalized, if they wish to be, and contribute to women’s financial inclusion.

Expand and diversify women’s market access and fair trade for their tourism products and services.

Support women to expand and diversify their tourism products and services.

Introduce measures to improve women’s work-life balance in tourism and encourage an equal division of unpaid care work in tourism communities.

Expand women’s access to digital technologies, including digital tourism platforms.

Leadership, policy and decision-making

Work towards gender balance in senior management of tourism companies.

Address the lack of high-level women’s leadership in decision- making spaces in the private sector, public sector tourism bodies and agencies.

Ensure International Labor Organization (ILO) policies on maternity and care responsibilities are respected.

Actively support women’s representation and leadership in trade unions.

Education and training

Develop training programs for women in tourism, including training on soft skills, networking and high-level training for career progression.

Provide targeted training for women to ensure that they can use digital technologies to innovate through digital technologies in tourism.

Provide gender equality training for tourism policy-makers, managers and employees.

Encourage the participation of female students and graduates in tourism studies and qualifications.

Community and civil society

Facilitate women’s voice in the community and household decision-making.

Ensure gender equality and human rights commitments at the national level are met and implemented effectively.

Support women’s tourism networks, NGOs and tourism cooperatives to actively work towards women’s empowerment in the sector.

Measurement for better policies

Regularly collect and report data that is disaggregated by sex on employment in the tourism sector and, where possible, formal and informal tourism employment, gender pay gaps, entrepreneurship, education and training, leadership and decision-making, time use and work-life balance.

Regularly provide data disaggregated by sex on employment in the tourism sector to UNWTO.

Conduct gender analysis, consult civil society actors, integrate a gender perspective into all phases of the tourism policy and program cycle.

 

In collaboration with