The once war-torn African country of Sierra Leone is starting to get back on its feet through its tourism sector. The National Tourism Board (NTB) of Sierra Leone said in the first half of 2011 the country already earned some $19 million from tourism. NTB manager Cecil Williams revealed the earning is a huge increase from the $10 million dollars they earned for the whole 2010.
Williams said after the civil war ended in 2009, a lot of tourists had been coming to Sierra Leone to enjoy their white beaches and explore other beautiful places in the country. She said tourism is a vital part of the economy of the country with some 5,000 employees in the industry sustaining up to 35,000 people. According to the data taken from the World Travel and Tourism Centre Sierra Leone’s tourism industry will grow by 5.8 percent per year between 2010 and 2019.
It was learned that aside from its tourism industry, the country is also known for its massive mineral wealth. The tourism potential of the country is getting stronger that in 2009 the Lonely Planet guidebook ranked Sierra Leone as “one of the world’s top 10 places to visit”. Sierra Leone is attracting a lot of visitors since it is just six hours from London and Brussels and eight hours from the United States. The main tourism draw of the west African nation is ts lush tropical landscapes and 360-kilometre (220-mile) coastline of sandy beaches.