By Amin Kef (Ranger)
In a bid to boost Sierra Leone’s tourism sector and more especially to capitalize on tourism offerings between Jamaica and Sierra Leone, the two countries are set to sign a Memorandum of Understanding which is aimed at strengthening tourism cooperation between Jamaica and the historic African nation.
“With the strong historical and cultural association between Jamaica and Sierra Leone, it is strategic to collaborate and strengthen our tourism cooperation. Both countries have a lot to offer in tourism and we can capitalize on this to build out new experiences for our visitors,” said Minister of Tourism, Hon Edmund Bartlett.
The discussions centered around air connectivity; training and development; marketing and promotional activities; cultural exchange; tourism diversification, growth and resilience.
“The pandemic has been the most tangible example of tourism vulnerability to disruptions and so a major area of focus will be resilience and resilience building to ensure the future proofing of the industry,” said Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett.
“It is critical that we build capacity in tourism to withstand and recover stronger for the next disruption we may encounter.”
The Sierra Leone delegation, headed by Minister of Tourism, Dr. Memunatu Pratt, also discussed their participation in the upcoming Global Tourism Resilience Conference that will be held in Kingston at the University of the West Indies’ Regional Headquarters from February 15-17, 2023.
“Tourism resilience is now at the heart of the industry’s survival. We must as destinations, exchange ideas and best practices to create the infrastructure to build capacity to detect, respond and recover from these disruptions,” said Minister Bartlett.
Further discussions to finalize the MOU between both countries will be held in the margins of the Global Tourism Resilience Conference.
The Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre, headquartered in Jamaica, was the first academic resource center dedicated to addressing crises and resilience for the travel industry of the region. The GTRCMC assists destinations in preparedness, management and recovery from disruptions and/or crises that impact tourism and threaten economies and livelihoods globally. Since its inception in 2018, several satellite centers have been launched in Kenya, Nigeria and Costa Rica. Others are in the process of being rolled out in Jordan, Spain, Greece and Bulgaria.