A two-day Tourism Stakeholders' meeting has ended at the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism with participants highlighting challenges facing tourism in Liberia.
According to the Liberia News Agency, the meeting held in the Charles Gbeyon Press Hall of the Ministry, brought together stakeholders from the ministries of Finance, Information, as well as tourist entities and other agencies.
Addressing the opening ceremony, Deputy Information Minister for Tourism Madam Elizabeth E. Hoff, regretted that the meeting could not have taken place earlier due to time constraint.
She said the sector has embarked on a number of measures to set up a data base that will provide information to the outside world about the country's tourism industry.
Minister Hoff disclosed that a UN World Trade Organization meeting is slated for October 2012 in Tanzania to give stakeholders an opportunity to provide information on Liberia Tourism industry.
Making a Powerpoint Presentation, during day-one of the gathering, the Assistant Minister of Finance for Revenue Decontee T. King-Sackie said tourism is important to any economy because it spurs growth, provides jobs and stimulates infrastructure development as well as exposes the rich indigenous culture of the country to the rest of the world.
Day-two of the meeting involved a training workshop for staff of the Bureau of Tourism at the Ministry of Information. Also speaking, the Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism Lewis Brown noted that tourism in Liberia is a virgin industry that government needs a lot to do to improve.
Minister Brown however encouraged the stakeholders to work with government, adding there is already willpower so stakeholders should muster the motivation in helping to improve the industry. He said the Tourism Division at the Ministry of Information in collaboration with UNESCO will identify experts of various tourism areas in the country.
Meanwhile, the Chief Executive Officer of King Kiahon's Paradise Resort, Mr. Burges H. Houston, Jr. is recommending to government to make tourism an autonomous agency. Mr. Houston said when this is done; it will help to boost the national economy