Dead Sea weed threatens billion Leones tourism Industry

Dead sea weed which has been washing up on the shores of Lumley and the peninsula beaches since July this year is threatening to negatively affect revenue generation in the tourist industry in Sierra Leone.
In an exclusive interview with the General Manager of the National Tourist Board (NTB) Cecil Williams he admitted to Awoko Business that the dead sea weed “has a very negative effect” on the Industry.
He explained that “Sierra Leone is known for its pristine and unspoilt beaches this is one of our biggest assets – our marketable assets are our beaches.”
The NTB General Manager noted that “if the sea weed continues to pose a threat then obviously there is going to be a drop in visitor arrival – consequently in revenue and we may have to re-divert our attention to other attractions which is not going to be very easy at this time.”
He maintained that the dead sea weed is “a very serious threat to the development of the tourism industry.”
Cecil Williams explained the effect saying that “apart from the hotels even those visiting some of the beach bars; people go there not only to drink but to also swim.”
“if you now observe the sea is a bit brownish and I believe this is as a result of the sea weed as it washes off from the sea on to the land, the end product is the beach becomes very muddy and that means the guest from the hotels and the restaurants will not come there and people who are coming particularly for leisure will not be able to use the beaches that means we will be losing some considerable amount of revenue.”
Cecil Williams argued that “if you take the occupancy rate within the hotels along the beaches here – now the hotels are doing a reasonable good occupancy of 80% much as most of them are leisure and business people, about 50% of those business people who would want to go to the beaches and swim will not go there which means they will lessen the number of days they will be staying in the hotels, and I can say with no proper calculation you are talking about hundreds of millions of Leones.”
Questioned whether this happens at Lumley beach only Cecil Williams said he “made a visit to some of the beaches along the peninsula I saw traces of those sea weed unfortunately one or two of those places are now operational take for example Tokeh there is now the Tokeh Beach Resort and Sands, there is also Mammah Beach you have guests going there and you could see traces of the sea weed – apart from the other beaches where you don’t have resorts, but there are two or three beaches along the peninsula where you can witness some of the sea weed that has been causing some problems for the visitors and hotel operators.”
Presently a three man team from Wetlands in Senegal are in town to conduct further investigations on the dead sea weed.