By Amin Kef Sesay
The Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Affairs and the National Tourist Board in conjunction with the Monuments and Relics Commission, with sponsorship from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) have embarked on a week-long public sensitization tour in celebration of this year’s World Tourism Day.
The symposiums will be held in the regional headquarter cities of Kenema, Bo, Makeni and end in Freetown on the theme: “Tourism And Rural Development”.
The first symposium, following COVID-19 prevention measures, took place yesterday, Tuesday 22nd September, 2020 in the Eastern Province headquarter city of Kenema at the Palamo Guest House, starting 10am.
Speaking at the symposium, the Director of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Mr. Mohamed Jalloh informed the audience that in celebration of the event, the Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Affairs is embarking on a one week sensitization which will climax in Freetown at the prestigious Family Kingdom Resort in Aberdeen in Freetown.
He highlighted that the grand celebration which will take place at Family Kingdom, Aberdeen in Freetown at 10am will highlight the importance of preserving touristic sites.
The Ministry will hold the next symposium in Bo today, Wednesday 23rd September 2020, at the J & E Resort at 10am. The Makeni symposium will be held at UNIMAK at 10am.
“Tourism and Rural Development” celebrates the sector’s unique ability to drive economic development and provide opportunities outside of big cities, including in those communities that would otherwise be left behind.
World Tourism Day 2020 also highlights the important role tourism plays in preserving and promoting culture and heritage all around the world; on the understanding that Tourism helps rural communities hold onto their unique natural and cultural heritage, supporting conservation projects, including those safeguarding endangered species, lost traditions or flavours.
United Nations World Tourism Organization’s Secretary-General, Zurab Pololikashvili, in his message noted that, for many rural communities, tourism means opportunity.
It provides jobs and economic empowerment, including for women and youth. Tourism gives rural communities the ability to protect and promote their natural surroundings as well as their culture and heritage.
The activities of the Ministry and its agencies in the tourism sectors are all geared towards rebranding Sierra Leone and making it a destination for tourists coming from every corner of the globe.