Sierra Leone Telegraph: 2 October 2018:
Thomas Cook Group, one of the leading global tour operators may soon start tourism operations in Sierra Leone, according to ministry of tourism report.
In a meeting with the Flight and Airport Services Manager of Thomas Cook Group, Stephane Joly, the company said they will be sending their executives to Sierra Leone to evaluate tourism investment opportunities.
Facilitated by the National Tourist Board, the Group held exploratory meetings with Sierra Leone’s Tourism and Cultural Affairs Minister Memunatu Pratt at the recent French Expo in Paris.
During the talks with Thomas Cook, the Minister spoke about the country’s rich cultural and tourism resources and opportunities, and invited Thomas Cook Group to explore Sierra Leone.
The Group promised to visit Sierra Leone in November 2018 to evaluate the country’s tourism opportunities and strengths with a view to marketing Sierra Leone globally as a tourist resort.
“Sierra Leone remains one of the untapped treasures of the world” remarked the country’s Director of Tourism, Mohamed Jalloh.
Fatmata Abe Osagie is the Acting General Manager of the Tourist Board of Sierra Leone. She said that bringing Thomas Cook Group to Sierra Leone could be the best thing to happen to tourism in Sierra Leone.
Thomas Cook Group operates in over 150 countries. Their package holidays are second to none with some of the world’s best destinations.
With international flight operators such as KLM and British Airways deciding not to fly to Sierra Leone, an opportunity with Thomas Cook to promote Sierra Leone as a tourist destination can only open the country for other flight operators to compete.
Sierra Leone’s tourism industry is in a state of flux but has a great potential for development.
With the new government prioritising farming, education, healthcare, electricity, water and infrastructure, Sierra Leone’s economy should start growing by at least 15% over the next three years, after a very steep decline twelve months ago.
Sierra Leone’s reliance on the mining industry has quite rightly come to an end. President Julius Maada Bio is now working towards the diversification and restructuring of the economy, to promote sustainable economic growth, employment and wealth creation.