Foreign Journalists Speak in Glowing Terms about Sierra Leone Tourism Potentials

By Millicent Senava Mannah

A group of foreign Journalists from America and Canada engaged the Media on the 2nd March, 2023 to share the experience they acquired during their tour in the country in an event that took place at the Conference Room of the Ministry of Tourism.

Speaking at the event, David Digregorio, who led the delegation said, they had a wonderful time in the country maintaining that people in the country are really hospitable.

He intimated that what they heard about the country and what they have seen with their eyes are quite different informing how there was lot of propaganda on Social Media that the country is not stable or peaceful, but how what they saw was exactly opposite to what they previously heard.

David commended the Minister of Tourism for her good work so far, proffering recommendations on how the sector can be improved also stating how they really had a good time in the country. He advised her to be authentic and not to try to please everybody but to continue to focus on what she is doing.

He also commended the people for their incredible culture, stating how he would love to visit the country again. He said that, when they return they will tell their people that Sierra Leone is an incredible country and how all the negative news about the country are untrue, and how they should also pay a visit.

David and the entire delegation almost said the same thing, and how they would return and write incredible stories about the country and its people, for people in the outside world to see how peaceful the country is, and for them to be inspired to visit, as a way of promoting the country’s tourism sector.

The Minister of Tourism, Memunatu Pratt, applauded them for their time and efforts utilized in undertaking the exercise continuing that normally they are a bit concerned about the perceptions of people any time they visit the country, and how they most times want to hear them say they are coming back as it is a good feedback.

‘’With all your experiences I am happy to see that you are able to connect our story to the destination. I have underlined the part where you say we are proud of our story. We are proud and we have no shame in talking about Sierra Leone,  because if we don’t talk about what has happened to Sierra Leone, it is going to be very difficult to appreciate what we are offering,’’ she stated.

According to her, their story must be connected to the people, lamenting that even after the civil war tourism was not part of the post conflict rebuilding.

‘’I can also tell that even with all the reforms that has been done, the legal instruments, tourism has not been part of it for the past thirty years. Today we are the most enviable Ministry, because the change is visible, you can see it, you can feel it,’’ the Minister asserted.

The Minister also revealed how they attracted the BUDAPEST Rally to have their finish line in the country twice now.

Terry Ward one of the foreign journalists, said that the people of the country are proud of their story, and where they have come from. He stated  how Sierra Leone is a beautiful country and how the people are very nice and accommodating. She affirmed that, she would visit the country again, and how it is a lovely place to be.

Bimbola Carrol, CEO, Visit Sierra Leone, said that tourism in the country has come a long way and how it is much more better than how it was before. He continued that, under the leadership of the Minister, the Tourism sector has made enormous changes, stating how she has passion for tourism and how she is indeed the most fitted in that position.



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