Tuesday, March 20, 2007

IMF Says Tourism Sector Small But Reviving

The International Monetary Fund's (IMF) recent country report summary tagged 'Outlook for 2006/7' revealed that the tourism sector, though very small is slowly reviving in post-conflict Sierra Leone.

The report stated that before the war, there was a small French-dominated set of tourist-related businesses based on the coast, south of Freetown, but by the end of the war the industry was virtually non-existent.

It could be recalled that the Central Bank in 2004 reported that there were 43,560 tourist arrivals, and estimated that this number doubled in 2005.

"The number of beds available in hotels and guesthouses is reported to have risen from 2,331 in 2004 to 2,445 in 2005.But there are a few hotels, guesthouses and other accommodation facilities under construction, funded by local investors, that will help to boost tourist capacity," the report said.

The financial institution observed that there is considerable potential for developing tourism in Sierra Leone, particularly the relatively pristine beaches on the Atlantic side of the Freetown peninsula (and those further down the coast).

However, lack of infrastructure and poor security in many areas means that tourism is likely to remain limited in the medium term.

Link to allAfrica.com: Sierra Leone: IMF Says Tourism Sector Small But Reviving (Page 1 of 1)