By Amin Kef Sesay
Our proud minister of Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Dr. Memunatu Pratt is in high gear right now as she continues to promote the tourism sector as one of the drivers of economic development in Sierra Leone.
Currently, she is in London making giant strides in trying to uplift the sector from the doldrums it were to and make it relevant and profitable for the country. She fully participated at the International Tourism Investment Conference (ITIC) which took place in London from 1st to 2nd November 2019 with other participants from many countries. She deliberated on many issues on the theme: “Global Investment Opportunities in Sustainable Tourism” which focused on Africa, Island nations and emerging destinations.
One key area she contributed greatly including Prof. Dimitrios Buhalis’ paper on “The Global Financial Landscape – Investment Opportunities and Challenges”. The tourism minister added value to the Director of eTourism Research Lab and Management and Marketing Expert at Bournemouth University presentation on the rebranding process of the sector with succinct contributions and this even changed the narrative story-lines and headlines in international media landscape about Sierra Leone being as a tourist destination, marketing and rebranding strides and targeting its focused smart engagements that attract right audiences.
This year’s WTM was difference compared to previous ones because the World Bank joined the Government and its concerned agencies to rebrand Sierra Leone to the fullest. With a thorough tourism governance and leadership, coupled with a dynamic and non-stop tourism marketing initiatives, in ensuring the country is set in the tourism global village, the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, National Tourist Board and partners have given the right attitude and clear strategy in enlisting Sierra Leone as the newest tourism destination in West Africa.
The country has now been highly promoted; rebranded and advertised of its profiled in an essential way within the core mandate of the National Tourist Board. In an interview by CNN’s Richard Quest following the end of the conference on Sunday 3rd November 2019 Dr. Memunatu Pratt said she will participate in a round-table tourism strategic meeting that is being moderated by Harold Goodwin on the topic “How Effective is tourism as a development strategy” on Monday 4th November. She is expected to give a stronger view on Sierra Leone tourism data which is a central asset in management and marketing of tourism destinations and businesses in the country.