When he couldn’t get a response, he insisted “I want to know, who cooked this food?”
Then one of the cooks hesitantly retorted, “I cooked it.”
He immediately exclaimed, “You know what, this food is damn nice!”
The rush to get a taste of the Sierra Leonean cuisine left many in awe. It was the first time that the Tourism Delegation was introducing that cuisine at that gathering. Their assessment of the food was satisfactory.
“The food is spicy but I like it.” remarked one of the partakers. “I enjoyed the food and would like to have more of it.” added another.
The celebration of the Sierra Leone Day at the International and French Tourism Market (IFTM) 2019 was a well-thought-out idea. It was a clever way to lure the world to focus on Sierra Leone and ask the right questions.
With over 30,000 Tourism Professionals from across the world, the Fair provides a perfect avenue to meet targeted visitors, develop brand image, make a point on the evolutions and trends of the market, maintain existing networks and meet new suppliers.
Sierra Leone’s Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, the National Tourist Board and the Monuments and Relics Commission made a lasting impression by promoting the arts, culture, music, folklore and cuisine of Sierra Leone.
As the visitors ate the food so do they enjoy the songs. Whether it’s the tantalizing aroma of the cassava leaves or the spicy ginger beer, the guests enjoyed everything. Some of them promised to visit the country.
As more tourists visit Sierra Leone, the Government is making strides aimed at improving visitor experience. Travelling to Sierra Leone hasn’t been made much easier with the introduction of Visa-on-arrival. The Government must hastily work on the prices of air tickets to boost inbound tourism.
Alieya Kargbo is Travel Director of Tourism is Life Tours, he says lowering the cost of tickets to fly to Sierra Leone would greatly increase inbound tourism.
“We are doing our best to create the enabling environment for tourism to flourish in Sierra Leone. We are aware that there are challenges with the cost of air tickets but we will do the necessary.” remarked Tourism and Cultural Affairs Minister, Dr Memunatu Pratt.
The Ministry of Tourism has been showcasing everything Sierra Leonean at International Trade Shows. The introduction of the Sierra Leone Day was to bring the world closer to Sierra Leone and leverage the country’s rich ecotourism, heritage tourism and adventure tourism potentials.
The day ended with music, feasting and dancing. Sierra Leoneans from the Schengen Countries witnessed the event and promised to make it bigger and better the following year.