SABEGNA Urges Senators to Detach Tourism from MICAT

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SABEGNA School of Travel and Tourism's CEO Henry B. Benson.

By Robin Dopoe and Chris F Pewu (Intern)

SABEGNA School of Travel and Tourism’s CEO Henry B. Benson has called on the senate to fast-track a bill that is lingering in the plenary that seeks to detach the Bureau of Tourism from the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism (MICAT).

The Bill was submitted by Lofa County Senator George Tamba Tengbeh three months ago urging his colleagues to amend Chapter 3 of the New Executive Law MICAT.

Benson said the only way the tourism industry in Liberia will boom is when the Bureau of Tourism becomes an autonomous agency.

He added: “The passing of this bill is necessary to reawakening the bureau, which has been very dormant over the years, to properly regulate and promote the growth of the industry.

“It will be very difficult for us to build a tourism industry when the bureau is attached to a ministry whose work is to defend the government.

“Only an autonomous bureau, not the ministry will have the power to market the country’s tourism industry. Right now there are too many line ministries that needed to be consulted before things move. But when the bureau is autonomous, the many bureaucracy will stop, giving chance for the growth of the industry.

“Secondly, the bureau, when on its own, is mandated to encourage and promote the tourism industry by conducting continuous surveys of potential touristic and historical sites, and will be enforced. Then, it will have the power to stimulate measures for the development of the tourist industry in the country, as well as recommend rules and regulations for the preservation, protection and operation of tourist attractions and centers all over Liberia so as to ensure the safety and comfort of tourists, without that long bureaucracy that is currently being faced since it is under MICAT,” he said.

Meanwhile, Benson reminds Liberians to love their culture and place value on its practices rather then on foreign ones.

“If we want to preserve our culture and its value, then we should all start teaching it to our children and learning to visit their native land and historical areas,” he said.

On SABEGNA’s role in the tourism sector, Benson said the school was established to improve the skills of Liberians wanting to study at the studio.

“We are currently working on plan to decentralize the school across the country and educate Liberians on the importance of promoting domestic tourism,” he concluded.

1 COMMENT

  1. In Tanzania, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mauritius TOURISM has become a major source of revenue generation. These countries are able to provide stable jobs for citizens without the hefty requirements that are normally attached to getting jobs such as Bank Manager, Doctor, Information and Communications Technology Professional or Managing Director.

    With the development of the Roberts International Airport, which will have some 250,000 to 350,000 people passing through Liberia annually, one can be sure that half of that number will be stopping over in places like Harbel, Unification Town and Marshall. Hotels, Beaches and Stop-Over accommodations need to be built in these areas that will cater to the huge volume of travelers.

    We need to start making significant improvement in the overall development of our beloved country, which will be a good thing if the government and people of Liberia can focus on improving the country through investing in the tourism sector.
    I wish that other well-meaning non-governmental organizations can see the benefits that could come to this country through the Tourism industry.

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