Ethiopia to Revive Tourism Sector Following Lift of State of Emergency

Land-of-originsAugust 23, 2017 - Ethiopia, which was under emergency rule for the most part of last year, is working to compensate for last year’s tourism sector performance by increasing tourist inflow, Ethiopian News Agency reports. Ethiopia’s plans aims at boosting the sector’s performance so as to fill the gap in terms of revenue.

The plan for the current Ethiopian fiscal year, being developed with the participation of stakeholders, has been drafted with this consideration, said Gezahegn Abate, PR Director at the Ministry.
Last year, the country has earned over 3.3 billion USD revenue, 88 percent of the plan, despite the interlude of the emergency rule that prevailed throughout the main tourist seasons.
The emergency ruling has affected the sector particularly in the first two quarters of the year. Tourist inflow dropped by 0.8 and 15 percent respectively compared to same period in the previous year.
But the last two quarters witnessed a five percent and one percent increase in tourist flow as the nation has managed to restore peace and stability, he added.
“Promotional and marketing activities conducted here and abroad, above all the peace loving nature of the people, witnesses of tourist who visited the country about the situation, and reports on various media outlets and websites indicated that the state of emergency declared in Ethiopia was entirely different from similar incidents that were declared in other countries. No international conference was cancelled due to the declaration of the state of emergency” he said.
Despite the low tourist flow, the revenue earned last year has only shown a 2.5 percent reduction compared to the previous year because of the improvement in the second half of the year.
Ethiopia has earned over 3.4 billion USD in revenue from more than 910,000 tourists who visited the country in 2008 Ethiopian fiscal year.
According to 2014 UNCTAND report, tourism contributes 10.6 percent to the GDP of Ethiopia, which is among the highest in the continent.
To improve the performance of the sector and increase the benefit of communities, Ethiopia is working to enhance engagement of the youth.
“Ethiopian youths need to realize that tourism is a huge industry from which they can collectively benefit if they are organized into groups. They can work as guides or engage in marketing traditional costumes, traditional dishes and beverages as well as cultural souvenirs to meet the tastes of tourists and also earn their livelihood”.
Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, the political and diplomatic capital of Africa, is home the African Union and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and numerous continental and international organizations.
Because of this features, Addis Ababa is attracting regional, continental and global conferences.
Even under the emergency ruling, Ethiopia has successfully hosted local, continental and international conferences, which he said shows the country’s strong stance towards peace and stability.
He said “there is no international conference postponed because of the emergency ruling.”
With the full restoration of peace and stability and promising performance the second half of last year, Ethiopia hopes for increased tourist flow and boost revenue.
Ethiopia, the Land of Origins, has been voted the World’s Most Welcoming Country by followers of Rough Guides - among the leading travel publishers by providing traveler’s up-to-date content and authoritative contemporary writing

Source: ENA



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