National Tourist Board Embarks on Familiarization Tour

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By Amin Kef Sesay

On Friday 7th August, 2020, the Board of Directors of the National Tourist Board and a cross section of management and staff of the National Tourist Board (NTB) embarked on a familiarization tour of various touristic sites in the country, with a maiden trip to  Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary, Regent in Freetown.

The mission of the Board was to aufait with many activities in the tourism sector by visiting all touristic facilities and attractions countrywide.

Speaking at the Tacugama Chimpanzee Santuary, the Chairman of NTB Board of Directors, Alieu Kokobay underscored the importance of their familiarization tour in touristic sites, adding that they would be in the best position to market, talk and defend the industry at any given period locally and internationally.

He added that the Tacugama is one of the important touristic sites promoting the development of tourism in the country.

As the institution responsible for marketing and developing the tourism sector in the country, he said they would not leave everything in the hands of the administration alone.

As Board Members he said that they must know what the country have as a nation in the tourism sector so that they would be assisting to market the industry through communication to the people.

He further registered commitment to support the development of the site as there are more facilities to be provided there that will have to benefit generations.

Bala Amarasekaran, Director of Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary, disclosed that the touristic site is neither private nor NGO, but a government owned site, notwithstanding the financial challenges they are facing to access fund from government. He furthered that it was very costly to feed and care for the chimpanzees, which are nearly hundred in number, plus the staff who are volunteers there. He maintained that the Wildlife Conservation Project is a good project, but in time people would start to appreciate it.

He spoke of the seventy three (73) communities they are working with across the country to protect the forest, pointing out that they partnered with the National Protected Area Authority (NPAA) for the protection of the Luma Mountain National Park in Koinadugu district, which has been described as the highest concentration of western chimpanzees anywhere in the world.

The Minister of Tourism, Dr. Memunatu Pratt’s giant strides in the sector are sending positive messages to the outside world and have brought a major facelift in the tourism sector, which places Sierra Leone presently as tourists’ destination.

The Board of Directors visited the National Museum, Railway Museum, Old Fourah Bay College Building and a host of historical city centres in the Western Area.

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