February 20, 2019 (Ezega.com) - Ethiopia bagged $1.4 billion tourism revenue in the second quarter of the year 2018, falling short of its projected target of $2.7 billion.
Ethiopia’s Minister of Culture, Dr. Hirut Kassa disclosed that the country managed to attain 53% of its target by earning $1.4 billion in the first half of the fiscal year (July-December) last year.
Pertaining the figures, around 380,000 foreign tourists visited the country’s different attraction sites in the said period.
For a long time, Ethiopia has been a destination for international tourists. It has luxurious hotels, attractive animals like the Walia Ibex, Chilada Baboon and Red Fox, and is home to the continent’s largest UNESCO registered tangible and intangible cultural heritage, as well as a friendly and hospitable people making it a preferred destination for many.
Presently, the ministry is working together with the industry stakeholders to boost the country’s gains from the untapped areas. Apart from this, the state is actively engaged in coming up with feasible policies that allow the establishment of hotels and tourist serving entities, and the active engagement of the private sector.
According to author Tewodros Kassa, the Tourism industry remains one of the most competitive sectors in the world and ensuring that it’s equipped with well-trained professionals is important if it’s to realize growth.
Ethiopia’s tourism sector showed signs of tremendous growth but has since been derailed by the anti-government protests, and the ethnic clashes that is threatening to destabilize the gains made since Abiy assumed office.
Under the leadership of a reformist prime minister, Ethiopia opened its doors to outsiders, especially Africans. The decision to relax visa requirements is key to ensuring the growth of the hospitality sector.
Addis Ababa is one of the world’s largest diplomatic hubs, hosting the African Union headquarters, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, and a number of foreign embassies. This makes it a destination for conference tourism, which brings together global leaders, like the last AU assembly where the heads of state of member countries were in attendance.
The decision to issue visas on arrival has been touted to boost tourism in the coming years.
Ethiopia’s tourism industry has potential, but much needs to be done.