Assistant Information Minister for Tourism Ms Lynne-George Cassell has underscored the need to invest in Liberia's tourism industry because it has enormous potential.
Speaking to reporters during the second day of a two-day Culture and Tourism workshop at the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism on Wednesday, Minister Cassell said tourism drives the economy of the nation.
According to the Liberia News Agency, (LINA) the workshop brought together Tourist Guides at the ministry, students of airline schools, and operators and proprietors of hotels and entertainment centers.
She said the tourism bureau at the ministry is planning a major tour this dry season to identify potential tourism sites across the country, adding that already a draft policy has been prepared in collaboration with various stakeholders, including the Liberia Maritime Authority, Forestry Development Authority, Environmental Protection Agency, Commerce and Finance Ministries to enhance the sector.
Participants at the workshop discussed among other topics, Communication Skills for Tour Guides, Potential of Tourism Industry in Liberia and How to Conduct a Tour.
The Director of Tourism Mr. Ambrose N. Wiagbe said the hallmark of a good Tour Guide is courtesy, intelligence, knowledge of historical and geographical facts about one's country and honesty.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism Lewis Brown, said it is about time that both the ministry and movie artists in the country work together to promote the industry.
Mr. Brown challenged heads of the tourism and culture sectors to make use of tourism and culture centers, including Providence Island by organizing cultural festivals there to generate funds for the improvement of the sectors.
The MICAT Boss said this will also encourage Liberian youth to develop interest in their culture, pointing out that it will stop many school-age children from going to beaches, particularly in Monrovia and its environs rather than celebrating Super Fridays where whole lot of shameful are introduce.
At the same time, veteran Liberian Cultural Artist Peter Ballah, who is founder of the Flomo Theatre Productions thanked Deputy Minister for Culture and Tourism Elizabeth Hoff and Minister Brown for the workshop and promised to his full support to improving the industry.
Mr. Ballah also urged fellow artists not to relent in promoting the industry. The workshop brought together over 100 participants.