26 September 2017

Ethiopia: Tourism Industry Growing Amidst Challenges - Ministry

The Ministry of Culture and Tourism said it has set to earn 4.5 billion USD from 1.2 million tourists expected to visit Ethiopia this fiscal year. Wide range of activities has been underway to realize the aspirations set in the second GTP attracting two million tourists and earn six billion USD.

Ministry Public and International Relations Director Gezahegn Abate told The Ethiopian Herald that the ministry will be highly engaged in prioritizing destination areas, expanding infrastructure , marketing and carrying out integrated promotional activities to make the country the hot spot for tourists.

Over the last two years, the tourism sector has registered commendable achievements including the development of various destinations and promotional activities in different countries, he said.

The director said the ministry and others pertinent actors like the Ethiopian Tourism Organization have been working to attract over one million tourists annually. Following the effort made to promote country's tourism potential, tourists are coming from different corners. Currently, Japanese tourists are coming to the country.

The last two years was the time for Irreecha, an element of the Gada System, to get inscribed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as an intangible cultural heritage.

According to him, the country has organized several global, continental and regional conferences. The 11th UNESCO Intangible Heritages of World Tourism Organization (WTO) and the annual meeting of AU and several summits as well as meeting have been hosted here.

"As international brand hotels are coming to the country rating their services has been carried out aimed at improving quality hotel accommodations and setting standards over the last two years."

Gezahegn said owing to the concerted efforts of the government and other partners the Simien Mountains National Park, which was in the UNESCO danger list for the past 21 years, has been removed from the list.

In 2008 EC. the country has attracted over 900,000 tourists that a little bit lower to the target one million and collected over 3. 4 billion USD. In 2009 EC though the sector was affected due to unrest in the some parts of the country, some 890,000 tourist visited the country and earn over 3.3 billion USD, according to the ministry.

The country is aggressively working to promote tourist potential here and abroad, expand infrastructure and produce capable professionals with a view to boosting the industry for the realization of making the country one of the five top destinations in Africa.

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