This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.
Last Published: 3/29/2019

 

Overview

Liberia’s tourism industry is underdeveloped, in part because of the country’s insufficient transportation networks, electricity connectivity, telecommunications systems, and accommodation facilities.  Only a few attractions have facilities that cater to international visitors.  The infrastructure deficit is one of the critical factors discouraging entrepreneurs from investing in this sector.  As infrastructure improvements are undertaken, prospects are emerging for the sector to contribute to the economy.   Liberia is endowed with rich natural resources that provide a potential tourism and hospitality market, including forests, rivers, seas, waterfalls, hills, mountains, lagoons, lakes, wetlands, and deltas.  The country’s biodiversity, landscape, and beaches are natural attractions for tourists and international visitors seeking new adventures.  Some known tourist attractions include the following:

  • The 700-square mile Sapo National Park in southeastern Liberia (protected area)
  • The surfing beaches at Robertsport along the Atlantic Ocean
  • The Kpatawee Waterfalls in central Liberia
  • The 40-square mile Lake Piso near the Liberia-Sierra Leone border
  • East Nimba Nature Reserve bordering Liberia, Guinea, and Ivory Coast (protected area)
  • Providence Island in Monrovia where the first group of freed African slaves landed in 1822
  • The country’s 350 miles of sandy shoreline along the Atlantic Ocean
  • Excellent deep sea sport fishing for tuna, marlin, mahi mahi, and wahoo

 
The East Nimba Reserve and the Sapo National Park fall within the upper Guinea biodiversity hotspots, and are homes to rare birds and mammals such as elephants, monkeys, antelopes and pigmy hippos.  The potential tourism market includes a relatively large resident expatriate community, and the growing number of Liberian diaspora returnees, most of whom are middle class.  Although the government considers tourism as one of the alternative sources of revenue generation, it is yet to develop sustainable strategies and programs to tap its potential.  The sector has not received a high level of attention from the public or private sectors even though it has the potential to diversify the domestic economy away from heavy reliance on extractive industries.  Developing the country’s ecotourism through conservation of its biodiversity as well as building modern infrastructure would improve its international image and increase its appeal to tourists.  Although there is insufficient data regarding the number and origin of international arrivals to Liberia, anecdotal reports suggest that most foreign travelers are European and U.S. nationals. 

Leading Sub-Sectors

Sub-sector best prospects for U.S. companies including developing the ecotourism sector, sport tourism, and rural tourism, especially along the country’s long stretch of coastline.  Building human capacity in tourism and hospitality industry also provides best prospects for investment in the sector.  Another best prospect sub-sector is a provision of facilities for rest and recreation, short-stays, vacation and holiday resorts, accommodation, as well as reliable electricity supply along Liberian beaches.      
Opportunities
Investment opportunities include development and provision of touristic services, such as ecotousism activities (e.g., birds watching), hotels, resorts, restaurants, etc., along the country’s 350 miles of coastline. There are also opportunities for U.S. investors in developing tourism in sports, nature, and historical adventure across Liberia.

Web Resources

Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism
National Investment Commission
Ministry of Commerce and Industry
Tourism Association of Liberia (TAL)

Liberian National Tourism Association (LINTA) 
Barefoot Liberia
Liberia National Export Strategy on Tourism

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Liberia Travel and Tourism Trade Development and Promotion