” Sierra Leone meets the prerequisite for Cruise liners” says Montreal Cruise port Manager.

The Sierra Leone Tourism delegation, even though got busy with random meetings and discussions around the development of the tourism sector and other related spheres, came out to announce the good news.

Leaving Ottawa to Montreal takes a minimum of three hours by road and approximately one hour by flight, the team made a safe arrival by road to Montreal. Montreal is another business and touristic city that caters for huge amount of tourists with enviable tourism potentials and amenities that helped to add more value to the sector and generate more income for the city.

Visiting the Montreal Cruise Port flamboyantly standing by the sea berth, sends an eye catching feelings to know more by drawing closer to the Port. The delegation visited this world class Cruise Port as AIDA cruise liner just arrived with almost 1,000 passengers aboard, with almost 500 passengers on orientation to embark on their journey to tour the work with two weeks.

The Cruise line business is rapidly Developing and there is every need for Sierra Leone to tsp in and be part of the business applying the right proceedings and following the international cruise lines regulations to attract this specialized niche for international cruise tourists.

With an informative presentation done by the Port Management, the team realised that indeed Sierra Leone could and should magnet this opportunity and polish it, the presentation served as an eye opener to place the delegation on firm footing to understand the Cruise business concept and operations, if at all Sierra Leone should tsp into it.

The Cruise meeting and dialogue with both teams, unveiled clear opportunities for the delegation to see the sector as viably active to reach a new audience around the world of travelling and cruise lines.

During the meeting it was confirmed, that cruise business is the new face of tourism and every destination that has the ability and operation capacity and harbour strength must look at this and launch a robust and tactical approach to eat part of the cake and make a strong returns as a nation.

The port management disclosed to the delegation that within two years, 250 cruise ships will be built, and that gives new entrants like Sierra Leone a better edge as a new destination to present a case in attracting the business owners to come down to Africa but Sierra Leone.

The minister of Tourism and Culture in her brief but detailed presentation made it clear to Montreal Port, that Sierra Leone has got it all to launch into the deep due to its vibrant tourism potentials that are yet to be untapped.

She further explained that all Sierra Leone is a genuine partnerships, collaboration, mentorship for business of such nature are new and are operated uncoordinated. Therefore, the delegation seeks support and capacity engagement to awaken this sleeping giant for tourism to reach its peak for comprehensive tourism income generation.

The Minister during presentation and handing the tourism promotional materials, as they flip over the pages of the official visitors guide, and showing Sierra Leone Tourism assets, the Montreal Port Manager affirmed, that what he is seeing is indeed what the cruise liners are looking for. Therefore he implored the delegation to look forward in proper and thorough deals in cruise ships.

Outcomes were many
1. To attend world cruise trade fair in Miami America
2. To plan a meeting with cruise liners
3. Invite Montreal Cruise expert to Sierra Leone for first hand research.
4. Encourage the private sector to invest into this sector
5. Bring onboard the interested tour operators to attend the cruise trade in Miami America

With an orientation tour done by the Montreal Port Management at the Lawrent River in Montreal Port. This tour with the delegation was to gain a clear and educational insight of the entire business and operations levels, to motivate and tease the minds of the team to do more. The guided tour lasted for almost 45minutes with lots of information given.

Stay connected as the team depart Montreal today to Toronto for more meetings and dialogues as design by GEI on the itinerary.

Submitted by,
Kai B. Saquee

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Abu Bakarr Tarawally is a Journalist based in Freetown. He works for the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation as a radio producer. He has once served as Editor for a few newspapers in Freetown, including Sierra Express Media, The Exclusive Newspaper and his own newspaper, the Daily Express Publications. He is a teacher trainer, and loves writing and reading a lot. Email: Call +232 88601277 or +2327661303.


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