Liberia: Legislature Passes Tourism Bill Giving Sector Promising Economic Future

Monrovia — The Liberian Senate on Wednesday concurred with the House of Representatives to pass into law an Act seeking to establish a Tourism Authority, following the report submitted by the joint legislative committees on Judiciary and Information, Broadcasting, Cultural Affairs and Tourism.

The report of the Committees suggests that the establishment of the "Liberia Tourism Authority Act of 2020," that will positively impact the Government's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in terms of beefing up the revenue generation capacity, and as well attract more private sector investment." It noted that the tourism sector is basically driven by private sector participation."

Currently, tourism is a department under the Ministry of Information, generating an argument that that does not give the bureau more leverage to explore its fullest potential that could bring in returns in economic terms to low allotment from the central government budget.

Liberia, Africa's first constitutional Republic that declared independence (as a free state) in 1847, is abundantly endowed with natural resources, wonderful beaches, hotels and resorts, wild-packed national parks, mountains, waterfalls, and lakes and islands.

The West African nation is also known for its incredible artifacts, rich, diverse traditions and culture, its delicacies, and scenic geographical features that could serve as potential reasons to lure visitors from the world over.

But in the wisdom of many here, the tourism sector first needs to be properly re-branded with an inclination of public-private investment approaches that could lead to job creation and expansion of local businesses.

The policy idea to reboot the sector basically began last February by two Legislators: Montserrado County District Number 8 Representative, Acarous Moses Gray, and Bomi County District Number 1 Representative, Edwin Melvin Snowe.

They crafted the Bill that pointed to amending Chapter 31 of the Executive Law of 1972, to establish the Liberia Tourism Authority to be known and styled as "The Liberia Tourism Authority Act of 2020".

Rep. Gray had said that the Authority will serve as the principal government agency clothed with the responsibility to encourage, promote, develop and regulate tourism as a major socio-economic activity to improve livelihoods, create employment and boost revenue of the State.

It would also promote "a responsible and community-based tourism so that locals can enjoy as well as increase social benefits and an improved environment."

He added, this could improve Liberia's image and significantly turn it into a destination for tourists from around the world.

Meanwhile, the House Chairman on Judiciary, Rep. Fonati Koffa, told reporters after the passage into law of the Bill that "it will help address challenges confronting the tourism sector: it'll land in the creation of the requisite administrative and legal structures to enhance the sector's potential in contributing to the revenue and economic growth."

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