As a way of generating revenue for the tourism sector, the General Manager of Sierra Leone National Tourist Board, Yassin Kargbo has sid that Tourist Board will soon install toll bars (check points) along parking lots at Aberdeen/Lumley beach.
He said the installation of those check points at the parking lots is for vehicles owners to start paying for the facilities, which he claimed will pave the way for the Board to provide adequate security for users of the said parking lots.
He said Tourist Board has employed more than 100 beach marshals that will be working 24 hours with protective gears around the beach.
Yassin Kargbo said the establishment of parking lots is one of the recommendations they got from stakeholders to generate funds for the Board.
He added that vehicle owners could park for a minimal fee of Le 5,000 (five thousand Leones) at weekends and on holidays and that this revenue would go into the Board’s coffers.
Another area which would generate revenue for the Board, according to Yassin, is in the area of towing stranded vehicles and those failing to park at the right parking spaces at the beach, which would be done in collaboration with the Sierra Leone Road Safety Authority (SLRSA).
He said moneys collected would be shared between SLRSA and the Board and the latter would use amount deposited in its coffers to boost the operations of the Board.
Currently, Tourist Board has over 150 workers and there are plans to employ more workers to manage the other beaches in the capital.
Part of the revenue collected would also be used to beautify the beaches and to also buy CCTV cameras to handle security in the area.
All of these are aimed at complementing President Koroma’s Agenda for Prosperity.
He described tourism as a vital alternative to the extractive industry, which he said can take the country to another level if there is serious administrative focus on it.
“How many times iron ore has disappointed us, during the tenure of Siaka Stevens, they have to close Delco and African Minerals because the prices went down in the world market. They just used the Ebola as an excuse, but do you think Banana Island’s price will go down?” he asked.
He went on to describe tourism as an export commodity as well and that they can only sell it by its aesthetics.
He added that Freetown is not the only attractive tourist destination in the country as there are lots of attractive areas in the provinces (domestic as well as foreign) for tourists.