The outgoing Deputy Minister for Public Affairs at the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism (MICAT), Isaac W. Jackson, has said Liberia’s culture remains unmatched across the globe considering its uniqueness.
Minister Jackson made the remarks on Tuesday during the official celebration of World Tourism Day held in Robertsport, Grand Cape Mount County, with exceptional performance from various county culture troops.
At the opening of the celebration on Monday, which was marked by a competition to win the best county culture performing troop prize for this year’s tourism celebration, the fifteen (15) counties displayed impressive cultural recitals and other performances aimed at winning the competition.
The county culture troop performances were splendid enough to bring smiles, joys and laughter on the faces of the audience, including Dr. Henrique F. Tokpa, Internal Affairs Minister; Samuel F. Brown, Bomi County Superintendent; Tenneh Simpson, Grand Cape Mount Superintendent; and other senior officials in attendance.
Also at the official indoor program on Tuesday, impressive cultural performances were witnessed courtesy of the Liberia Crusaders for Peace, headed by Liberia’s Culture Ambassador Juli Endee, and Bomi County – who ended up winning the best county culture performing troop prize for this year’s World Tourism Day.
“Just by seeing the artistic displays at the tourism celebration today indicates that we have a unique culture and no one around the world will argue it. We have a lot to show to the world when talking about culture and we must begin to show gratitude where it is duly payable,” Minister Jackson said.
He said the celebration of United Nations World Tourism Day (UNWTD) is intended to create awareness in various communities about the importance of tourism in the everyday life of each Liberian and the country at large.
Minister Jackson said the decision by the government to decentralize the celebration of Tourism Day across Liberia adds value to the newly introduced decentralization program in the country, adding: “This decentralization will highlight the tourism potential of the various counties in Liberia.”
According to him, the tourism sector has so much to offer to Liberia’s growth and the development program, which we have to celebrate and continue to ensure is realized for the benefit of all.
“It’s estimated that by 2030, 1.8 billion tourists will be traveling around the world and we can’t allow this opportunity to pass us by. And so, we want to call on all the stakeholders and local and international partners to support the government’s efforts in promoting and advancing the tourism industry in Liberia,” Minister Jackson said.
“As we celebrate today, must resolve to champion the cause of tourism by protecting and by promoting the typical Liberian traditional fashions. We need to support tourism by wearing or using Liberia’s fashions.”
Henrique F. Tokpa, Minister of Internal Affairs (MIA), who served as the guest speaker, said tourism remains an important source of income for many countries, including Liberia.
“As Liberia is considered a LDC (least developed country), it behooves the government of Liberia to make every effort to build and promote the industry in order to achieve national and international objectives to alleviate poverty, creating job opportunities, promoting a cleaner and healthier environment, thus
creating a natural space for true and lasting reconciliation,” Minister Topka said.
Also in remarks, Milton A. Weeks, Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL), lauded the organizers and the various county teams for making this year’s celebration a success.
Juli Endee, Liberia’s Culture Ambassador, praised the level of awareness done for this year’s tourism celebration and described it as a successful story for Liberia and her people at large.
Speaking during the opening of the occasion, Juanita Yiah, Director for Tourism (MICAT), said she was delighted to welcome everyone to celebrate this year’s World Tourism Day and praised the various counties for showing up.
“This day is about showcasing your products, including culture, tradition and folklore as well as other things to get one attracted to your country. We want to urge you to embrace tourism as tourism remains a key component in Liberia’s development agenda,” she said.