The Sierra Leone National Tourist Board is working with the country’s new government to promote tourism and development, and hopes for tourism to become the lead industry for the country, its minister of Tourism and Culture has said.
Speaking during a Sierra Leone press conference at WTM London on Monday, Dr. Memunatu B. Prat, Sierra Leone’s minister of tourism and culture, said the West African country wanted to “change its narrative” and use marketing to “improve it national image.”
She said “tourism had had its challenges” in the past, due to the country’s associations with blood diamonds, civil war and Ebola.
However, she said 2018 marked a new chapter for Sierra Leone, thanks to a new government that hopes to develop infrastructure.
“We hope to increase revenue and jobs from tourism,” said Prat.
Government infrastructure plans include a new bridge connecting the airport to Freetown, the country’s port city and capital.
Prat said Sierra Leone offered diverse experiences for tourists including pristine beaches, a cultural capital city and plenty of wildlife experiences.
Wildlife species include chimpanzees, monkeys, pygmy hippos and numerous bird species.