Tourist Board GM & Entourage Market Sierra Leone at World Trade Market in London

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Sierra Leone National Tourist Board

By Amin Kef (Ranger)

The World Trade Market which commenced on the 7th November, 2022 ended on the 9th November 2022 in London with the mass presence of trade visitors and the general public, visiting booths, exchanging business cards, closing deals and hopes expressed for the adoption of new concepts that will create meaningful impacts dominated most of  the meetings that were held during the course of the three day event.

The Sierra Leone National Tourist Board, led by its General Manager, Fatmata Mida Carew represented the country at the annual event.

It must be underscored that the World Trade Market in London is the market leading international travel event, unlocking business opportunities for inbound and outbound tourism professionals.

Furthermore, it must be noted that the B2B event allows tourism businesses from around the globe to showcase their brand and exhibit at the show along with the biggest names in the accommodation , hospitality and renowned tourism destinations and attractions, innovative travel technology providers and airlines.

The event helps the NTO and international travel providers to do business with world class travel buyers as well as to showcase their services to the international Press.

During the event, Fatmata Mida Carew, was very proactive with her Marketing Manager, Ms. Lucinda M. Kargbo, in all the B2B meetings with key stakeholders from countries around the world and leading tourism institutions.

This year’s World Trade Market was very strategic and steadfast in tapping into every opportunity that will continuously boom the tourism sector and other related sectors respectively.

The Sierra Leone delegation took advantage, with a one on one engagement, with 2500 exhibitors and 100 countries in pushing for Sierra Leone as an emerging Eco-Tourism destination in West Africa and Africa with the country’s tourism assets.

‘Explore Freedom’ was the new catch phrase with the newly launched  iconic logo capturing the minds and attentions of trade visitors and the general trade visitors in this year’s WTM 2022.

In her presentation, the General Manager of NTB, Fatmata Mida Carew, articulated the mandate of positioning Sierra Leone as the place tourists can have the Freedom to Explore the country’s attractions using the Unique Selling Position (USP) especially with eco-tourism and Cultural products.

Sierra Leone’s well designed and decorated stand in the African and Middle East section brought Sierra Leone to the limelight, as the country shared place value with: South Africa, Maldives, Egypt, Morocco, Seychelles, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Senegal, The Gambia and several others.

One of the arrangements arrived at was that Sierra Leone should penetrate new tourist-generating markets, the USA and Canada as David Digregorio from CornerSun concluded a Terms of Reference to lead the representation.

It must be noted there was a confirmation of a contract agreement for which Terms of Reference were drawn with UK and German Tourism representatives.  The benefits include developing campaigns for domestic and international markets to promote group tours and meeting and convention travel by planning, budgeting for, and participating in trade shows and sales missions and as well increase tourist arrival and plan profitable familiarization trips to Sierra Leone.

This medium learned that the Wanderlust Travel Magazine is to commence featuring Sierra Leone as an emerging Eco-tourism destination.

Wanderlust is the leading travel magazine in UK and Europe. It is perfect for digging deep into destinations and Sierra Leone will soon be featured in this amazing wide-coverage travel magazine.

Wanderlust TM are known  to have some fantastic long articles giving detailed insights into the places, the people blend with cultural tastes of these places that  profile country.

The magazine will place strong focus on the country’s authentic beauty of places; the exotic landscape, wildlife, people, Culture and heritage respectively.

Sierra Leone’s continuous presence and appearance in the biggest world’s trade event will add destination value and visitors trust and confidence in the country Sierra Leone.

Lamentably, the emergence of COVID-19 posed stagnation on hotel occupancy, tour operating, ground handling, restaurateurs, casinos and disposing several households of daily survival from these employments chains.

The good news is the country’s mitigation and resilience approach to combat the menace is compared to none, which brought Sierra Leone to be one of the countries that outsmarted the outbreak.

Commendably, the interest generated in visiting Sierra Leone in this year’s WTM is amazing and well pleasing as this year’s inquiries visiting in November, December and the year 2023 is quite huge.

It is appreciating as local tour operators join this year’s WTM: IPC Travel and Tours and Tourism is Life Tours are well represented and very smart in their engagement in giving relevant destination facts on the country.

These two tour operators are as well helping to raise the profile with their well designed and informative brochures, meeting leading Tour Operators in UK and other travel institutions for healthy partnerships for now and the future.

Sherin Kousa of IPC and Peter M. Bassie were creative in their tour operators deals and negotiations.

The Chairman, Board of National Tourist Board- Chief Tamba Allieu Kokobaye attended the Ministerial Summit organized in Future Stage in the WTM grounds. His attendance and contributions during the meet and greet session was timely and necessary as Sierra Leone was in full recognition.

With SLEDP Coordinator joining this year’s WTM,   Mary Jalloh assessed and monitored Sierra Leone’s impact during the event.

 

 

 

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