Travelling to Sierra Leone just got easier thanks to the country’s decision to change its visa rules.
The Sierra Leonean Ministry of Internal Affairs has issued a public statement offering visa-free entry to visitors from certain countries.
Commenting on the new policy change, the Information Minister, Mohamed Rahman Swaray said, “This is an indication that the new direction is poised to take the country to another level and our latest step in making the country attractive to tourists and foreign investors.”
This move is expected to boost the country’s tourism, a sector that is losing an estimated $100 million in revenue annually according to a report by thesierraleonetelegraph.com.
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The “very high cost of flying to the country, as well as the exorbitant cost of hotel accommodation in most of the tourist resorts,” were stated as reasons for low tourist numbers.
This new change favours Nigerian travellers as Sierra Leone now offers visa-free entry for citizens of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
Nigeria is one of the 15 member states of ECOWAS. African Union (AU) citizens, on the other hand, will pay a $25 fee to receive a visa-on-arrival.
Visitors from other countries will pay a visa fee of $80. The United States, United Kingdom, European Union member states and citizens of BRICS — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — are all part of the countries affected by the new policy.
Sierra Leone joins Ethiopia and South Africa followed suit, who have all relaxed their visa policies to revive their economy.