Europeans have topped the list of visitors to Sierra Leone for the first six months of this year. This is according to the slips collected at the Freetown International Airport and processed by the National Tourist Board.
According to the half yearly figures for visitors according to their places of residence seven thousand and two (7,002) people have come in from Europe from January through to June. These are closely followed by those coming in from the United States of America who number up to five thousand eight hundred and sixteen (5,816). Those coming in from the Ecowas sub continent make up the third highest group, numbering five thousand and forty two (5,042). Again these are followed by those coming in from Africa but the Non-Ecowas countries and they number up to two thousand nine hundred and twenty nine (2,929). Those from Asia record the next highest figures of two thousand eight hundred and fourteen, followed by those from Australia and Oceania – two thousand three hundred and eighty two (2,382) and last but not least are those from the Middle east who number one thousand eight hundred and ninety three (1,893).
The highest influx of tourists (those who come to the country and stay for more than 24 hours) was seen in the Month of April when we celebrated our 50ieth independence anniversary. There were five thousand seven hundred and ninety six (5,796) visitors to the country who came by air in April, with the large portion of 31% coming from Europe (1,822) and 22.1% coming from the USA (1,264). The others were Ecowas 15.8% (917), Asia 9.9% (578), Australia and Oceania 8.4% (492) Non-Ecowas 7.4% (431) and Middle East 5% (292).
The inflows of tourists from Europe and America increased significant when compared with last year figures. For Europe two thousand and thirty (2,030) more came in than 2010 and for America two thousand two hundred and thirty (2,230) more came.
Cecil Williams general manager of the national Tourist Board says people have heard about the new developments in the country and are eager to come and see for themselves.