Min. Turkolon Vows To Revamp Liberia Tourism
‘Coastal Highway Will Attract Tourists,’
-As Asst/Minister Turkolon Lauds Pres. Weah
Assistant Information Minister for Tourism, Madam Princess Turkolon, has expressed optimism that the southern region of Liberia will be a major destination for tourism upon the completion of the proposed coastal highway.
The coastal highway was promised by President George Weah during his State-of-the-Nation address during which the Liberian leader said his government will seek US$3 billion from friendly governments, institutions, and friends to solve Liberia’s road problem.The comments from Turkolon comes amidst the signing in Asia of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of Liberia and Eton Financing (a union of Asian companies) leading to a loan agreement of US$536.4 million to facilitate the building of the proposed coastal highway.
As per the MoU, the prospective road corridor is expected to be completed in four years and its pavement will begin from Grand Bassa through River Cess, Sinoe, Grand Kru and Maryland counties, thus presenting an opportunity for better movement of people as well as goods and services.
The loan agreement is said to also be targeting road connectivity to other counties in the country.
It is expected to come into effect within 30 days and will have to be rectified by the Legislature to give way to the implementation of the project.
Turkolon indicated that amidst other limitations, the lack of basic infrastructure such as paved roads to destinations outside Monrovia has been responsible for the lagging of the country’s tourism industry.
Turkolon noted that Liberia has a lot of tourism potentials that could have been explored by past regimes, but poor infrastructure remains a major hurdle.
She assured that the Tourism Department at the Ministry of Information under the George Weah-led Government was well-determined to do all it takes to resuscitate the sector.
The tourism official hailed President Weah for being passionate about developing the country in various sectors of the society.
In recent days, Presidential Press Secretary Sam Mannah has been phoning-in to various local radio programs, announcing that the loan agreement will cover a period of 25 years, seven of which will be interest-free as per the agreement.
Like in many other parts of Liberia, the Southeast is endowed with many natural scenes such as mountains, lakes, and conserved rainforests.
The region also hosts historic sites, artifacts, several tribes and people of rich cultural diversities that could be used as attractions to tourists from around the world, enabling the nation to generate more revenues.
Meanwhile Madam Princess Turkolon, has lamented the underdevelopment of the tourism industry in Liberia, promising to work with stakeholders and partners to develop the sector.
Turkolon said her administration intends to undertake a project on the Providence Island in Monrovia that will boost tourism and attract investors to know more about Liberia’s tourism sector.
Turkolon named one of the projects to strengthen the sector as the printing of a magazine that will highlight Liberia’s tourism sector, adding, “I do believe this will make people to know about our tourism sector and how it works.”
Turkolon said when the sector is fully developed, it would generate more revenue as well as create more job opportunities for youths directly and indirectly to improve their living condition.
“If we take tourism as a priority investment in this country, tourism and agriculture will boost Liberia’s revenue generation capacity to improve the lives of the Liberian people,” she indicated.