Information, Culture and Tourism Minister Lenn Eugene Nagbe has described the Roberts International Airport as a “national shame”.
“One of the problems we have apart from the lack of adequate infrastructure, Liberia’s airport is a national shame, we lack roads connectivity, we lack an affective national power grid, all of the attending facets that would make the air industry succeed are lacking,” he said.
The government lacks architecture in program to redevelop the program itself. Even the rudimentary thing like what is best international practice to separate tourism regulations from tourism policy, Minister Nagbe told LTAA newly elected officials.
Nagbe noted that the resuscitation of Liberia’s Tourism sector cannot be overemphasized. He divulged plans to restore the sector that got visually crumbled as result of the protracted war in Liberia.
The Minister of Information, Cultural and Tourism (MICAT), said Liberia was considered premier for tourism in West Africa years ago, unfortunately, it has been given away to other West African countries due to lack of requisite legislation, and infrastructural developments, amongst other.
He made the disclosure when he served as Guest Speaker and induction officer of the newly inducted officials of the Liberia Travel Agency Association (LTAA) a program held at a local hotel in Monrovia over the weekend.
In an effort to resuscitate the sector, the Minister is proffering a legislation to send to the Legislature to remove regulatory power from the Ministry of Information.
Currently, “MICAT is the regulator. That is not the best way to proceed. So, we are working with the national legislature to separate tourism regulation from the Ministry that is how it is done in most countries,” he said.
It is vital, according Minister Nagbe, because the national regulator whether is a Commission or tourism Board once detached from the tourism policymakers- it becomes the driver for tourism related matters.
Minister Nagbe informed the inducted officials that Liberia Travel Agency Association (LTAA), needs to play pivotal role in the rebranding process because LTAA is critical component of the tourism sector.
“LTAA is cardinal because without the air travel, there can be no tourism in Liberia,” he indicated.
For her part, the President of LTAA, MS. Alpha Tah, amongst other issues, admonished the 54th Legislature to consider the passage of the draft Liberian Business and Economic Empowerment Act of 2018 that is currently before the Legislature.
She believes if the law is passed, it will foster government’s pro-poor and especially LTAA and all Liberian Businesses.
“The Act does not only solely delegate travel agency businesses to Liberians but it also addresses our major obstacles as entrepreneur access to finance and government contracts,” she said.
She however, assured her colleagues who repose confidence in her as to work in the best interest of all. Ms. Tah promised better working relationship.
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