The Ministry of Information (MICAT) has identified 68 historical sites across Liberia that could be used to boost the country’s tourism sector, Louise McMillian, Assistant Minister for Cultural Affairs at the MICAT, said.
Speaking at the ministry’s regular press briefing on Thursday, the McMillian lauded UNESCO for sending an international expert, and considering two national experts from Liberia, to identify these areas.
She said that some of the identified areas were visited based on a project aimed at putting Liberia on the world tourism map.
“In 2013, we applied for World Heritage after visiting the head office of UNESCO in Paris for the general conference. Right after that, we were able to submit about 68 potential historical sites in Liberia including 25 natural heritage sites,” the Assistant Minister added.
She indicated that the process of having Liberia represented among the world tourist destinations has begun, noting that the fact that UNESCO sent a consultant from Gambia, who worked alongside two local Liberian consultants for fact findings, is a clear signal for the country.
McMillian added that “these experts are paid by UNESCO to identify out of the 68 historical sites which one (s) will be recognized as tour sites in the country.”
“We did not visit all of the 68 identified sites because of time, but we visited a few including the Providence Island, Ducor Hotel, Kpatawee Waterfall in Bong County, Mount Nimba, Lake Piso in Cape Mount and the Blue Lake in Bomi County,” she said.
The Gambian expert, Baba Ceesay, said their visits to these potential historical sites were to gather preliminary information for the nomination of places that could be recognized based on world standards.
“We have visited at least five counties and I have learned part of the observation and preliminary responses to World Heritage criteria. To be on the world heritage list, one must fulfill one of 10 inscription-criteria as well as the condition of protection and management system,” said Ceesay.
Meanwhile, based on his assessments so far, Ceesay said that “Liberia stands a better chance to achieve the World Heritage criteria.”