The Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Affairs and the National Tourist Board in collaboration with the Monuments and Relics Commission with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on Sunday 27th September 2020 at Family Kingdom Resorts, Aberdeen in Freetown wrapped up a week-long public sensitization in celebration of World Tourism Day with the theme: Tourism and Rural Development.
In celebration of the event, the Ministry and its agencies toured the eastern, southern, and northern headquarters towns organizing symposiums in sensitization about the significance of tourism and rural development in creating the enabling environment for the sectors to thrive in the country. The ministry highlighted the various strides made with the support of President Julius Maada Bio for prioritizing the tourism industry as a growth sector for diversification of economic growth in Sierra Leone.
Making the keynote address in all the three cities, Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Dr. Memunatu Pratt has disclosed to the people in the provinces that tourism cannot thrive if rural development is lacking in that country.
She said that poor infrastructures in many West Africa Countries are affecting the tourism sectors while appealing to the government to improve on rural development settings so that it would attract tourists in the country.
The Minister further reiterated the beauty and benefits attach to engaging in tourism saying with tourism people could make themselves comfortable by just being innovative with the local resources available within.
She further explained her ministry collaboration with line ministries especially the Works Ministry in making touristic attraction sites accessible and makes the sector thrive in the country.
The Chairman, Board of Directors, National Tourist Board, Alieu Kokobe noted that tourism is not for the Urban settings but also for the rural areas.
He said that tourism is an industry that can create a lot of job opportunities for young folks. He appealed to the rural people to protect the wild animals as they can a lot of attraction for tourists.
The event was climaxed with a lot of entertainment by top Sierra Leonean musicians including Star Zee, Drizikik, and Rozzy.