How Sierra Leone is on a fast track to Safer Tourism in Africa
Known as the New Hawaii in West Africa, Sierra Leone is a founding member of the African Tourism Board This West African Country is on a fast track to becoming an African leader in tourism safety and security.
Immediately after the soft launch of the African Tourism Board during WTM in London in 2018, the outspoken Hon Dr. Memunatu Pratt, Minister of Tourism & Culture Sierra Leone was introduced to Dr. Peter Tarlow, head of SaferTourism what is part of the TravelNewsGroup (publisher of eTurboNews).
Before the African Tourism Board (ATB)was launched in April 2019 all initial activities took place as projects of the International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP) Founding Member Sierra Leone was involved in this process and Minister Pratt in 2018 already rallied the rest of Africa to stand behind the African Tourism Board initiative by ICTP. Tourism is viewed to be the key to renewed economic development for the country.
In March 2019, Dr. Peter Tarlow was appointed by the African Tourism Board as their safety and security expert. He spoke at the ATB launch in Capetown in April this year and started the Rapid Response Mechanism for Africa, assisting Uganda during two crisis situations earlier this year.
More than a year of discussion with Sierra Leons officials, Mr. Nathaniel Tarlow, who is Dr. Peter Tarlow’s son and Safer Tourism legal representation arrived in Sierra Leone last week Friday on a visit to discuss cooperation between Sierra Leone, SaferTourism (TravelNewsGroup) and the African Tourism Board. He was representing Dr. Tarlow and Juergen Steinmetz, who is the founding chair of the African Tourism Board and CEO of the TravelNewsGroup.
The team proposed to develop an executive summit for Sierra Leone that allows it to increase tourism security and to benefit from this increase not only in issues of safety but also in tourism profitability.
According to media reports in Sierra Leone, the high profile guest arrived for the first time in Sierra Leone
Tarlow jun. met and paid a courtesy visit on the Executive Head Representatives of line MDAs such as the Secretary to the President Honorable Minister of Internal Affairs, Honorable Minister of Tourism and Culture Affairs and the Honorable Deputy Minister of Youth Affairs on Monday 16th December 2019 at their respective offices. Mr. Tarlow was thrilled by the hospitality of Sierra Leone and it’s Government.
In these meetings they discussed the following Goals:
1. To develop an overall Sierra Leone tourism surety plan. Produce tourism security strategies both on a regional and national wide basis
2. Develop a comprehensive tourism security action plan to be applied on national and regional levels
3. Turn tourism surety into a tool for economic development;
4. Use tourism security as a model for civil (local security).
5. Develop methods for positive promotion and public relations for Sierra Leone
Background and Introduction
Tourism is one of the world’s leading industries and a major economic development tool, and as such, security (crime and terrorism) has a major impact on the tourism, cruise, and event-oriented economies. Some countries such a Kenya and South Africa have highly developed tourism industries. Were these countries able to improve their security component and security reputation, they would become major players in world tourism.
Other nations, such as Angola, have less developed tourism industries, but manifest a high potential for business tourism. Furthermore, tourism provides major improvements in quality of life and requires both natural
conservation and beautification.
When public officials are tourism-sensitive they tend to be more tolerant of the needs of diverse populations and offer the general public better service.
Tourists, as do citizens throughout the world, demand safety and security by well-trained professionals. It is for this reason that the hospitality industry’s number one job is to protect its guests. Without good security foreign
businesses often invest the minimal possible, and the quality of life for a nation’s citizens is less than desirable.
Tourism surety (safety + security) involves training, education, investments in software and the understanding that security/surety is not a simplistic discipline. Tourism security personnel need continual training and must be flexible enough to adjust their procedures to a constantly changing environment. One of the propositions to note is that as customer service increases, so does tourism security. Security plus service and value for money will become the basis for 21st-century tourism success!
The Goal for Sierra Leone is
1. Create the outline for national and regional surety plans, including issues of health, safety, and economic development
2. Produce tourism security strategies and assessments;
3. Develop a comprehensive tourism security action plan to be applied regionally and for individual nations or cities;
Discussed was police training to include
• To be able to recognize and address tourist-related security and safety concerns
• To prepare police officers to be tourism promoters for Tourism locale, both in the city and (should the need arise) at conferences around the world
• To help people in law enforcement face critical issues dealing with tourism security in a world filled with crime and acts of terrorism
• To provide a clear understanding of the relationship between visitor-centered areas and terrorism and how to develop terrorism planning for site-specific areas.
• To be able to change law enforcement strategies in an ever-fluid political environment.
• To understand problems and develop specific responses to reduce crimes against tourists.
• To create/reinforce in the mind of the law enforcer his/her role as a representative of the government and the people of the Tourism locale.
With these developments, Mr. Tarlow and Mr. Kallon are on a country feasibility tour of Sierra Leone’s Tourism and Security.
14th December 2019
Tacugama, historic sites, and other tourist activities in the area and overnight at Ego Lodge
16th to 20th December 2019 Exotic visit to Dalton banana Island on-site seeing, scuba diving, fishing and other touristic activities on the Island
21st -22nd December 2019 Visit to the roots of history and heritage, visit Bunce Island and en route to Tasso Island for Lunch
23rd-25th Dec 2019 The trip of ventures Bintumani Mountains. Climbing of the mountain, hiking, and other tourist activities in the area
Site seeing, canoeing, upper Moa River, down moa river, forest walk, and other tourist activities in the area, sleep in tents bring repellants, slippers, towels, Touchlights.
Ecolodge 30 December
Juninnjo Pool Party – Hamilton
31 December 2019
With this completed task, Mr. Tarlow shall return to the US on 1st January 2019 to give a full analytic report as that will charter the implementation of this project between the International Coalition of Tourism Partners, the African Tourism Board, Safer Tourism, Juninnho Investments Company Ltd and the Government of Sierra Leone.
More information on SaferTourism: www.safertourism.com
More Information in the International Coalition of Tourism Partners: www.ictp.travel
More Information on the African Tourism Board: www.africantourismboard.com
More Information on Juninnjo Investment Company: https://jicltd.business.site/