By Lansana Fofanah & Fatima Gbla.
As Sierra Leone strives towards making the tourism sector an economic base and an attractive one, the elegant Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Madam Memunatu Pratt has embarked on identifying historic sites that have been neglected for so long in a bid to rebrand them.
Key among them is the long historic Bonthe Slave Island which has never been visited by the Tourism Ministry according to the Minister.
The Minister said that recent cleaning exercise in Bonthe Island attracted Members of Parliament and dignitaries from Bonthe including the Mayor, Paramount Chiefs and other key stakeholders which helped to expose hidden historic and enviable facts about the neglected Island.
Madam Pratt said that footages of myriad of sites and exotic islands, habouring rich natural and cultural heritage assets were captured which will help the Ministry to develop a documentary that will properly market and promote the Island and its surroundings.
Madam Pratt said that in a bid for ambassadors and high commissioners to market the idea of tourism in Sierra Leone at their various overseas missions, newly appointed ambassadors were educated on the rich potentials of the country’s tourist sector during the three days induction organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs so that they will have knowledge and market the country as a tourist destination.
Madam Pratt called on Sierra Leoneans to stop posting negative images or fake news about the country as every time investors goggle to know about the country, whenever they see such images it makes them to have negative thoughts which is greatly frustrating their image branding efforts.
The Minister called on the media to support the Ministry in their campaign to rebrand the tourism industry so that it will be seen as a revenue generating sector like the mining sector.