(BUCHANAN – Liberia) – Liberia has the potential to generate millions of dollars in revenue if it focuses on developing its touristic assets, according to Hesta Baker, proprietor of Elizabeth Village and Resort in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County.
Her ecotourism investment, which straddles the banks of the Benson River on the outskirts of Buchanan, the capital of Grand Bassa County, is deeply rooted in the Liberian culture, owing to its traditional setting, dress style of its waitresses, and the food its serves to guests.
“I see Liberia’s tourism as a multi-million dollar industry that can promote economic growth that will further enable the government alleviate poverty among the population,” Madam Baker said.
With her experience of travelling to other countries and seeing what they have and what they made out of tourism, Baker said the sector is a tool that transformed the economies of those nations whose tourism settings are not more precious than what Liberia’s is made up of in terms of untapped scenic, cultural and nature heritage.
Baker described the Elizabeth Village as the only point of return for tourism in Liberia in addition to the country’s mountains, ocean and rivers as well as its culture.
“We should understand that we must go back to our different counties and different areas to transform them because other countries have used tourism to promote economic development. They do not have more than us. We can tap into this sector and also try to understand the historical values of our country,” said Baker.
The Elizabeth Village is an investment of about US$250,000, and is scoring high in promoting tourism in the country with its attractive Liberian-style mud huts that accommodate visitors; its spacious swimming pool, delicious Liberian meals, and a variety of local entertainment.
It has become a popular destination for both foreign and local tourists who flock there mainly during the weekend for relaxation as well as people having special ceremonies such as weddings, engagements, honeymoon, among others.