Ivory Coast seeks to boost tourism despite insecurity fears



More than a month after militants killed 19 people on Ivory Coast’s Grand Bassam beach, fun seekers are gradually returning to enjoy one of the country’s top tourist attractions.


But owner of a hotel, Ocean et Lagune close to the place where the March attack took place said hotel owners in the area are struggling.

The fifty nine-year-old hotel owner, Losseni Bora returned to Ivory Coast in 2012 to invest in a hotel after many years of travelling abroad.

His hotel, Ocean et Lagune has only eight operational rooms with four more under renovation.

Bora says they have hardly had any guests since the six shooters targeted hotels on the beach but he is determined to make the business work.

I have returned so that I can work. As for the jihadist problem, I cannot allow these people to take over. It’s true, I’ve lost 95 percent of my customers, but I think I will make it. I will not give up, I will keep trying to work, and I will stay to show Ivorians and everyone else that jihadists cannot destroy our businesses,” Bora said.

Officials say Ivory Coast has invested 151 billion CFA (about $266,000) in hotels over the past three years as part of efforts to improve the service industry and boost tourism.

The government is targeting 1 million tourists in 2016, which is almost double the number from last year as the West African country tries to turn around an economy held back by several years of unrest.

Tom Lori Published by Tom Lori

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