By Samuel Ben Turay
President of Tambakula Arts and Crafts Cooperative Society at Aberdeen has urged government to create ways that could influence a high influx of tourists in the country.
Omo Scott said there has been a drop in the number of tourists who visit the country in recent years, a development he said has also negatively impacted sales of Arts and Craft in the country.
He said the development also meant government was losing millions in taxes that could have been generated from tourism.
Scott was speaking last week at a press conference held at Aberdeen.
He said the corporative was formed in 2013 to look into and address issues of Arts and Craft in the country, and that after several months of meetings to draft the bye-laws, the group was officially registered and recognized as the Tambakula Arts and Crafts Cooperative Society in January 2014.
He said they are now working towards the collective improvement of structures, the location of the market and quality of the products, to sell wholesale and most importantly improve the lives of their members, their families and the community as a whole.
“We need more tourists to make our business grow,” said Scott.
Tambakula artisans and traders sell homemade jewelries and wood carvings, original and historical masks used in ceremonies, materials, clothes and linens.
It is a demonstration of the initiative, diligence, and ability to overcome adversity and hope that makes the people of Sierra Leone truly remarkable.
“Tourism is an important source of income for many countries. It’s important because of its direct effects on the social, cultural, educational, and economic sectors of national societies and on their international relations,” he said, and added that Tourism brings in large amounts of income into a local economy through the payment for goods and services taxes, as well as creates opportunities for employment in the sector.