International travelers, hospitality trade, boosts Sierra Leone's economy
In the first six months of 2016, some 30,765 people flew into Sierra Leone's Lungi Airport, which is 23,267 more than in 2015 (7,498) over the same period, according to Awoko.
Of these, 13,524 were in the west African country on business, while 5,638 said they were on holidays (tourists), with an additional 6,319 who said they were visiting friends and family.
More than 3,100 were there for conferences or meetings and a further 2,165 did not specify a reason.
The 13,524 people on business are estimated to have spent at least $90 a day in hotel bills and stayed for at least a week. Therefore in the 6 month period, hotels in Freetown and around the country are estimated to have made about $8.5 million.
The group of business executives is estimated to have spent at least $200 on food, transportation, and souvenirs, the paper said, conservatively estimating a cumulative spend of another $2.7million over the 6 month period.
In total, the 13,524 business executives who flew into Sierra Leone between January and June 2016 are estimated to have pumped an estimated $11.2million into Sierra Leone's post-Ebola recovery economy.