Sierra Leone’s tourism potential boosted by an international documentary film


Mohamed Faray Kargbo: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 16 November 2019:

It is not often that documentary films about destinations are done. So when one is done with professionalism, it needs to be shown to the whole world not least the travel industry.

It was a sight-to-behold at the Vue Cinema in London’s Leicester Square when the film on Sierra Leone was screened.

Through the lenses of “Oh The People You Meet” (OTPYM) the project highlights wildlife conservation in Sierra Leone’s Tacugama Chimpazee Santuary.

Viewers were thrilled to see the lavished beauty of this small West African Nation. The stretch of pristine beaches throughout the Freetown Peninsula and the interior.

The film documents the journey of Michaela Guzy through the touristic treasures of Sierra Leone. From the ecolodges of Tacugama to the white beaches of River No 2, the film invites the viewer to enjoy the scenic views of Africa’s newest upcoming destination.

Viewers watched in awe as the narrator takes them through a 360 view of everything Sierra Leonean.  Whether it’s her culture, nature or creatures, the film unleashes the tantalizing view of some of the finest places in Sierra Leone.

During a Panel Discussion at the World Travel Market (WTM) London 2019, the topic: Shifting Perceptions Through Wildlife, Film and Forward-Thinking Policy the spotlight shifted to Sierra Leone and for once the panellist gave the audience every reason to visit Sierra Leone.

The film which made it as a finalist in the Wildlife Conservation Film Festival in New York could be the next big thing to return tourists to Sierra Leone. The Country’s Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs is desperate to make her country the best tourism destination in Africa.

Since her appointment some 18 months ago, Memunatu Pratt has been working round the clock to relaunch the country’s tourism industry. Through a combination of wildlife, film, and a forward-thinking policy agenda, the country’s battered image is slowing transforming.

The Western Chimpanzee which has been declared the National Animal of Sierra Leone was featured predominantly throughout the film. On September 5th, 2019, Sierra Leone announced more than 150 countries will receive Visa-on Arrival, a landmark policy change. The country recently presented a budget which removes all aviation tax charges.

Michaela Guzy and her team received a standing ovation on completion of the screening. Rosemarie Baryoh’s (Rozzay) performance sealed the night as she got the audience yearning for more.

This film will undoubtedly change the perception of Sierra Leone. It will put the country on a high pedestal  and transform the negative image that has shattered this beautiful nation for too long.

Here is a snippet of the movie: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=2443180459027908

About the author

Mohamed Faray Kargbo is the head of Joint Communications and Media at the Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Sierra Leone.