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|Monrovia on the Go: ‘Visitors Map’ Offers Tourists Unique Guide to Liberia’s Capital||| Print ||
|Written by Rodney D. Sieh, firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Monday, 08 October 2012 23:40|
Monrovia - What started as a hobby for John Sheehy is now poised to become one of post-war Liberia’s most impressive pitches to the outside world.
Says Sheehy: “It was really a hobby that I started. You know I do three different things here in Liberia, this just happens to be one of them."
"This one is actually one of the funniest ones to do because you meet all the business owners and they all unique but they really all the same, they really want to encourage people to come to their businesses, they want to also make Monrovia not just a place that NGOs or workers or concessionaries come to but a real first class city in West Africa.”
The all-new visitors’ map, produced by Emerging Business Lab is the first of its kind in Liberia and features six full-color, detailed maps giving tourists a guide to Central Monrovia, Broad Street, Sinkor, Tubman Boulevard, Airfield/Old Road, Congo Town/Paynesville) showing over 70 hotels, restaurants, and other businesses.
Sheehy credits the cellular giant, Cellcom for providing the financial backing to get the project off the ground.
“We were coming back and forth ourselves and what happened was people would come to us and say where do I go? Where do I eat, what neighborhoods do I go to and what’s there to do?”
The quest for answers about Liberia’s capital city led Sheehy and his pals to begin putting together their own personal maps and giving them to people.
“To our surprise, it became an instant hit. It became such a big hit that people kept saying ‘you really need to do something to print this on a larger scale. So what I did was I launched a web page which was the monroviavisitorsmap.com and from there we came up with a concept to print it and this seems to be the perfect fit.
Cellcom was so eager to be part of this and allow us to print the map. Printing the map is probably the hardest part but by having a sponsor that was willing to take that on, it allowed us to keep the integrity of the map by maintaining from our offices in Boston and making this a unique venture between Cellcom and ourselves.”
Sheehy says the map gives people visiting and living in Monrovia an ideal access to finding their way around the metropolitan area.
“It beautifully depicts the city and its landmarks, including most of the ministries and agencies of government, as well as showcasing many businesses and enterprises such as restaurants, hotels, and shopping venues.”
Sheehy says the Map is a significant signal to both visitors and residents that Monrovia is rapidly becoming a first-class city and open for business.
Both Information Minister Lewis Brown and the Office of the Mayor of the MCC have expressed pleasure and support for this initiative, and are excited to be part of the Map and the history we are making.
Besides the massive reception the guide has received, it has also gotten the support and endorsement of the Monrovia City Corporation whose mayor, Sheehy says, was excited from day one.
“Minister Brown welcomed it immediately, I actually ran into the Mayor in the street one day and she was doing some work and I ran to her and opened it and showed it to her and she said immediately to her assistant I want to see this man immediately in my office tomorrow so we can make this possible. We want this map to be the thing that goes out to all the investors that come into the city, to shop or just come to town to see the city of Monrovia.”
Now Sheehy says the most important job for him is to keep it relevant, meaning tourists and visitors can get an updated version of the map every quarter on the guide’s website which will be updated regularly.
Thousands of Copies of the "Monrovia Visitors Map" are already in print and are being distributed for free throughout the city. The Map is available online monroviavisitorsmap.com and users can also, always download the map or set the iPhone app for on-the-go viewing.