Freetown Peninsula has tremendous tourist potential but investments needed – Op ed

Murtala Mohamed Kamara: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 4 July 2024:

In 2023, the prestigious Time Magazine honoured the Freetown Peninsula by selecting it as one of the Greatest Places in the world. This accolade was well-deserved, as the Freetown Peninsula is one of my favourite spots in Sierra Leone. I often find solace in the tranquillity of this area, especially when seeking a break from the chaos of Freetown.

Recently, I embarked on a tour of several resorts along the Freetown Peninsula, visiting more than seven in total from Goderich, Number 2, Sussex, and York to Kent.

I will now share my observations and recommendations from this tour. It is important to note that I intend to provide constructive feedback for business improvement rather than criticize any specific establishment.

One area of improvement that stood out during the tour was the lack of online presence among many of the resorts. In today’s digital age, having a strong online presence is essential for attracting and engaging with customers. While some resorts have a basic Facebook page, others could benefit from having their websites where guests can access detailed information, book online, and make payments.

Yes, it is good to be listed on bookings .com and Airbnb but a virtual tour website with high-quality pictures and videos is a great way for people to explore and experience these resorts without having to physically travel to see what they are offering.

Furthermore, some resorts were challenging to locate due to inadequate signage, and the roads leading to these establishments were subpar. Maintaining proper signage and improving access roads can greatly enhance the guest experience.

In terms of facilities and standards, there was a noticeable disparity among the resorts visited. While some establishments maintain high standards, others fall short in terms of cleanliness and overall management. Resort owners must invest in proper maintenance and employee training to ensure a consistently high level of service.

Moreover, some resorts lacked professional management, with family members often tasked with running the businesses without the necessary expertise. Engaging experienced professionals in the hospitality industry can significantly improve operations and guest satisfaction.

Additionally, resorts should offer a variety of activities and facilities to cater to different types of guests. This includes adventure activities like water sports, diving, and fishing for those seeking excitement and adventure. They can also provide leisure options such as swimming lessons or other sports for those looking for a more relaxed vacation. A well-rounded resort experience that caters to all interests will ensure that guests have a memorable and enjoyable stay.

Lastly, the natural beauty of the Freetown Peninsula is undoubtedly a major draw for visitors. Sierra Leone boasts stunning beaches that rival those of renowned destinations like Mauritius. To fully capitalize on this potential, resorts need to enhance their standards and invest in capacity building to deliver exceptional guest experiences.

In conclusion, there is a clear opportunity for improvement in the hospitality sector along the Freetown Peninsula. By addressing key areas such as online presence, signage, facility maintenance, staff training, and overall standards, resorts can elevate the guest experience and showcase the full potential of this beautiful region.

We will be providing detailed reviews of each resort and its services in the upcoming weeks. Be sure to stay tuned for more information and recommendations on which resorts to visit for your next vacation.


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